The financial markets were in turmoil this week, first reacting to better-than-expected US inflation data, then to lower-than-expected US producer prices and hopes of a rate cut in Europe in June. The week ended on a mixed note, with the first quarterly earnings reports from US banks seemingly failing to generate any enthusiasm. The erratic movements of international indices could therefore continue for some time, as uncertainty grows over the trajectory of interest rates.
Weekly variations*
37983.24  -2.37%
18003.49  -0.58%
Chart NASDAQ 100
FTSE 100
7995.58  +1.07%
Chart FTSE 100
2342.99$  +1.38%
Chart GOLD
84.94$  -0.58%
Chart WTI
1.06$  -1.74%
This week's gainers and losers

Apartment Income Reit (+22%): Asset management giant Blackstone announced this week that it is acquiring all outstanding shares in the US real estate investment trust for $39.12 each, a 25% premium to the previous day's closing price. The deal, which has the backing of the Board of Directors, values the property owner at around $10 billion and will be completed by the end of Q3. 

Revolution medicines (+20%): This week, the clinical-stage oncology company unveiled positive results in the development of a new class of anti-cancer drugs targeting RAS mutations, involved in nearly 30% of human cancers. In the wake of this announcement, analyst Raymond James, who sees great potential for this treatment, significantly raised its recommendation and target price for the stock.  

Blackberry (+12%): The Canadian software and cybersecurity group has forged a promising partnership with chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices. The two companies will jointly develop next-generation robotic systems, notably for the industrial and surgical sectors. This should boost the share price, which has been struggling for several years and has fallen by over 40% since September 2023. 

Didi Global (+12%): The Chinese car-sharing giant, listed in the United States, is doing better. After announcing 3 weeks ago that it had returned to profit in its fourth quarter, the group unveiled a major project. The joint venture it has set up with the automotive group has received a license to mass-produce autonomous robotaxis, which will be marketed as early as next year. The joint venture also announces the launch of an electric SUV. 

Toast (+5%): This week, the software specialist dedicated to the restaurant world announced the launch of its new restaurant management suite, with a series of optimized functionalities designed to improve sales for restaurateurs. In the wake of this announcement, several analysts raised their price target or recommendation on the stock. Toast has gained over 33% since the beginning of the year.  


Globe Life (-47%): The holding company, which specializes in life and health insurance, is the victim of a report by Fuzzy Panda Research. The report accuses the group of various fraudulent practices, including underwriting policies for deceased or non-existent individuals, forging signatures, making unauthorized withdrawals and misrepresenting policyholders' smoking habits. The short-seller also alleges that $65 million in bribes were paid to company executives. Globe Life denied the accusations, but that wasn't enough to offset the fall. 

Trump Media and Technology Group (-25%): The frenzy surrounding the IPO of the company hosting Truth Social, Donald Trump's social network, quickly dissipated. Investors fled after the company revealed millions of dollars in losses and said it would struggle to meet its financial commitments. The group's co-founders also deposed the former chairman, who is due to speak in a dispute over ownership of the group. 

Carmax (-12%): The used car retailer disappointed. It reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales and earnings, weighed down by a decline in the profitability of units sold. It also stated that it will not achieve its long-term vehicle sales target, due to the slowdown in the used car market.

Fastenal Company (-9%): The distributor of industrial supplies and construction equipment missed the consensus. Penalized by a decline in demand for its products and weather conditions that hampered construction activity in the United States, the group unveiled a lower profit margin and net income, as well as sales that just missed market expectations. 

Morgan Stanley (-7%): The bank's wealth management arm is in the crosshairs of several regulators, including the SEC and several Treasury Department offices. The latter have launched an investigation to establish whether the division has made sufficient inquiries into the identity of its clients, the origin of their assets and the manner in which it monitors their financial activity.
Chart Commodities
Energy: Oil continues to rise. Geopolitical tensions continue unabated in the Middle East, where observers expect Iran to retaliate against Israel. These frictions are underpinning crude oil prices and overshadowing a number of bearish factors, such as rising inflation in the United States, the sharp rise in US weekly inventories and the mixed forecasts from the International Energy Agency. The latter downgraded its forecast for oil demand growth in 2024, anticipating lower demand in OECD countries. OPEC, for its part, has maintained its very optimistic scenario for global demand, which should peak at 105.5 million barrels per day this year. Finally, a word on the price of natural gas, which surged in Europe following Russian strikes on gas facilities in Ukraine. Dutch TTF is currently trading at around 30 EUR/MWh.

Metals: Gold remains weightless. The latest inflation data pushes back the deadline for a Federal Reserve rate cut. Yet this in no way affects the strength of the buying flow, whose engine is fueled by other factors, notably the quest for safe havens and geopolitical frictions. The ounce of gold set a new record at USD 2400. In London, a tonne of copper caught its breath at USD 9342 for its cash price. The rising dollar is weighing on the compartment.

Agricultural products: Cocoa and coffee continued their mad dash to new heights, while grain prices continued to languish. A bushel of wheat is trading at around 550 cents in Chicago, compared with 430 cents for a bushel of corn. In its latest report, the US Department of Agriculture points out that its domestic market is very well supplied.
Chart Commodities
Rates. The week was marked by a multitude of macroeconomic indicators that were not to investors' taste. For the third month running, US inflation showed signs of rising. CPI Core was up by 0.40% on a monthly basis, against an estimate of 0.30%. On an annual basis, the rise was +3.80% vs. 3.7% anticipated. From the outside, these figures may seem only mildly disappointing. However, CPI including food and energy jumped from 3.2% in February to +3.5% in March. In other words, American households are feeling the effects of rising prices on a daily basis. And the rise in oil prices, with the price of a barrel of WTI rising from USD 70 to USD 86 in the space of a few months, is not going to help matters. Against this backdrop, it's no surprise to see yields tightening to the point of taking the US 10-year yield to the key long-term resistance level of 4.60%, pushing the dollar higher.
While the attention of the financial markets was mainly focused on price fluctuations in the United States, the action of the European Central Bank (ECB) also played a crucial role. As expected, the ECB kept its key rates stable, while hinting at the possibility of an easing of monetary policy as early as June, should the economic situation so require.
In addition, the latest economic data from China, notably concerning inflation and the trade balance, did little to reassure us about the country's current economic momentum. 

Crypto. Bitcoin stabilizes below $70,000 this week, up 0.7% since Monday. Capital flows into Bitcoin Spot ETFs have fallen sharply since the beginning of April compared with the previous month. This week, ETFs even recorded net negative flows of $28 million. Proof that enthusiasm for bitcoin has subsided. The ether (ETH) is just breaking even at +0.25% this week, hovering around the $3,450 mark. From now on, investors will be looking ahead to Bitcoin's Halving Day, scheduled to take place between April 18 and 19. This event halves the number of Bitcoins issued for each transaction block. After Halving Day, not 6.25 bitcoins will be redistributed to miners who validate blocks, but 3.125 bitcoins, suggesting difficulties for miners with shaky financial health. As for the bitcoin price, Halving has always been historically favorable for its progression in the months following the event. Will we see the same surge this time? We'll find out in the coming weeks.
Historical Chart
Large caps unveil their results
After a colorful week for central banks, macroeconomic news will focus on US retail sales (Monday) and China's first estimate of Q1 GDP (Monday night). The corporate calendar includes some forty quarterly earnings releases from companies worth over $50 billion. These include Goldman Sachs, UnitedHealth, Johnson & Johnson and Netflix in the US, and LVMH, ASML, Rio Tinto and L'Oréal in Europe. Have a good weekend before the marathon of earnings reports returns.
Things to read this week
Palladium prices still at record lowsPalladium prices still at record lows
Hopes of a rebound in the price of the precious metal have so far been dashed by the market. Read more
Paramount Global: On the right side of the fenceParamount Global: On the right side of the fence
In the midst of accelerating discussions on a possible takeover, we are seeing a clear divergence in the behavior of A and B class shares. Read more
Globe Life, a fraudulent insurer?Globe Life, a fraudulent insurer?
On Thursday, Globe Life found itself at the heart of a scandal following damning revelations by Fuzzy Panda Research, a short-seller, highlighting widespread... Read more
*The weekly movements of indexes and stocks displayed on the dashboard are related to the period ranging from the open on Monday to the sending time of this newsletter on Friday.
The weekly movements of commodities, precious metals and currencies displayed on the dashboard are related to a 7-day rolling period from Friday to Friday, until the sending time of this newsletter. These assets continue to quote on weekends.