• Stocks remain under pressure following Tillerson firing 
  • Oil searching for direction after DOE data
  • US retail sales decline for 2nd consecutive month; USD mixed
  • Cryptos decline on Google ad ban
  • Swedish CPI meets forecasts as SEK moves higher

There’s been further weakness seen in the stock markets today as traders digest the fallout from Trump’s decision to replace Tillerson as Secretary of State with Pompeo. The US500 and US30 have both taken out Tuesday’s lows but the US100 – which has been the standout performer of late – remains above yesterday’s low print. 

Another market that could be impacted by the reshuffle is Oil, but for now crude is focused on the latest inventory data from the US. A bigger than expected rise in the headline DOE reading was offset to some extent by large drops in the distillate and gasoline components and as such the market remains a little directionless as it approaches the apex of a consolidation triangle formation. 

The biggest economic data release of the afternoon has seen a disappointing number for consumer spending in the US, with retail sales unexpectedly declining in the month of February. The M/M reading showed a print of -0.1%, below the 0.3% expected and even though the prior was revised higher to -0.1% (from -0.3% previously) it is still a pretty poor reading. However, at the same time a pick-up in the PPI suggests that inflation could rise faster than currently expected and this has supported the USD which remains fairly balanced on the day. 

There’s been some pretty notable selling seen in cryptocurrencies today with losses of around 5% seen in all 5 markets. Bitcoin is now back at 8700 and not far from its recent swing low after Google announced it was going to ban all ads regarding cryptocurrencies as well as so-called initial coin offerings or ICOs beginning in June as a part of a wider crackdown on high-risk financial products.

Swedish inflation in February turned out to stay unchanged compared to the prior month meeting economists’ expectations at the same time. Even as price growth was not so a long way off from the Riksbank’s aim, price dynamics missed the latest estimates presented by the country’s central bank. The SEK has risen against both the EUR and USD today following the news, higher by around 0.7% at the time of writing.