US stock indexes showed a slight decrease on the background of the Saudi and allied forces air strikes on militants in Yemen. Positive statistics on the labor market, where the number of initial unemployment claims fell by 9 thousand to 282 thousand and the service PMI, which rose unexpectedly in March by 1.5 to 58.6, could not change the mood of investors. Investors are waiting for speech by Fed (19:45 GMT) and publication of data on US GDP growth in Q4 (12:30 GMT). Our medium-term outlook remains positive, but in the case of a hint of rising interest rates in June, the index may continue to fall.
Major European stock markets fell yesterday amid increasing geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and the lack of progress in talks between Greece and creditors on restructuring the country's debt. Statistics on the growth of retail sales in the UK by 0.7% in February against an increase of 0.1% in January failed to improve investor sentiment. Today the head of the Bank of England said that the next step of the regulator will be raising interest rates, which was negatively displayed on the stock market. Today, the course of trading will be affected by the news from the US where the Fed chairman will speak and will be published data on the growth of US GDP. We maintain a positive medium-term outlook for the markets of the region in connection with the program of quantitative easing in the Eurozone.
Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region showed little change. Negative for investors was the news on military operation in Yemen. This fact supports the demand for protective assets of the yen, which has a negative impact on the stocks of Japanese corporations. On the other hand, the news about the growth of core consumer price index by 2.0% in Japan, reducing unemployment by 0.1% to 3.5% supported the investors. Retail sales in Japan fell in February by 1.8%. Further movement of the indexes will depend on the development of the situation in the Middle East and the rhetoric of the head of the Fed on monetary policy. We maintain a positive medium-term outlook for markets in the region.