Today’s Outlook:

• All three major Wall Street indexes ended Monday’s trading session (25/03/24) in red territory, with the DJIA suffering the most severe percentage decline of 0.41%. The Dollar also fell as the risk of Yen intervention as well as the impact of the Yuan rally thanks to Chinese government support. After the US Federal Reserve’s move last week to leave interest rates unchanged and signal 3x rate cuts this year, market participants will turn their eyes to the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index data that was originally released by the Commerce Dept. on Friday to coincide with the Good Friday holiday. Analysts expect the PCE data to show Inflation heating up in Feb, with prices rising 0.4% mom, after 0.3% growth in Jan. However, Core Inflation which excludes prices of volatile goods such as food and energy, is expected to cool to 0.3% mom from 0.4%. On an annualized basis, headline & core PCE price index is projected to land at 2.5% and 2.8%, 1 percentage point away from the Fed’s average inflation target of 2%. Some Fed officials on Monday again voiced a less dovish tone from the central bank as they reminded that the US economy is still strong. However, this week there are still several statements from Federal Reserve policymakers that market participants are waiting for, including from Chairman Jerome Powell.
• Economic data in the housing sector that is closely monitored by economists and investors reported Building Permits turned positive to 2.4%, from -0.3% in the previous period and also above expectations of 1.9%; the highest growth since Oct 2023. In contrast, the New Home Sales figure in March was slightly depressed to 662k, from 664k in the previous month and missed the forecast of 675k. Today the market will look forward to the Durable Goods Orders figure and US Consumer Confidence which is a measure of consumer confidence in economic activity, which in turn can forecast people’s spending power. In response to the existing and upcoming economic indicators, 10-year Treasury bond prices fell 8/32 to a yield of 4.2493%, from 4.218% last Friday’s close. Meanwhile, the price of 30-year bonds depreciated 14/32 to yield 4.4183%, from 4.392% at the end of last week.
• COMMODITIES: OIL prices crept up due to supply concerns from Russia’s massive production cut plan of around 9 million barrels per day in the second quarter, when there is potential for Eastern European geopolitical tensions to escalate further as Ukraine continues to launch attacks on Russian oil refineries. On the other hand, the potential for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war has provided some stability in the Middle East. US WTI surged 1.64% to USD 81.95/barrel, while Brent closed 1.55% higher to USD 86.75/barrel. In other commodities, GOLD prices stabilized ahead of important US economic data this week. Spot gold prices edged up 0.3% to USD 2170.60/ounce.
• ASIA & EUROPE MARKETS: Speaking of consumer confidence, SOUTH KOREA just released their Consumer Confidence (Mar.) figure this morning at 100.7, down from 101.9 the previous month; implying a less optimistic outlook for future economic activity. Later this afternoon, the JAPAN central bank will announce the annualized Core CPI rate which is expected to fall slightly to 2.5% yoy, from 2.6% the previous position. Shortly after, GERMANY follows with the GfK German Consumer Climate (Apr.) report, a sort of report on how consumers predict the business climate going forward, which is likely to still be relatively pessimistic although the pace of decline is slowing down.
• JCI again maintained above Support 7300 but still not allowed to break another Moving Average Resistance which is MA10 at 7360 level. NHKSI RESEARCH advises investors/traders to wait for a break out of this level before deciding to add to portfolio positions, in a trading week truncated by Friday’s holiday and ahead of the closing of the first quarter of this year.

Company News
• MIDI: 2023 Profit Hits IDR516 Billion
• BDMN: Distributing IDR1.2T Dividend
• ELSA: Partnering with IBC

Domestic & Global News
• When Will the Cooking Oil Debt Be Repaid? This Is What the Ministry of Industry Says
• Strong Signs of La Nina Phenomenon, Harvests of These Commodities at Risk

Download full report HERE.