Post FOMC Market Action? + 03.23.2023 Trading Levels
Posted By:- Ilan Levy-Mayer Vice President, Cannon Trading Futures Blog
By Mark O’Brien, Senior broker
Count ‘em: nine in a row. That’s how many meetings the Federal Reserve has increased its key interest rate. As of today’s .25-point increase, the federal funds rate target range stands at 4.75%-5.00%, the highest level since September 2007. The vote by all 11 members of the Federal Open Market Committee was unanimous. Clearly, the bank runs that toppled Silicon Vally Bank and roiled the banking industry have been front and center in the financial world the last two weeks, but the situation fazed Fed officials little if at all. “The U.S. banking system is sound and resilient,” said the prepared policy statement released at 1:00 P.M., Central Time today. Fighting inflation, it seems, remains the Central Bank’s focus.
On Monday, gold futures (basis April) pierced through $2,000 per ounce intraday for the first time in a year as the U.S. banking crisis spread to Europe with Credit Suisse, a preeminent name in global investment banking, sought help from Switzerland’s central bank and then put itself up for sale. This marked a ±$18,000 per 100-oz. futures contract move in just eight trading sessions from March 9.
Wheat continued its ±8-month slide from its multi-year spike high above $13/bushel on the heels of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to lows not seen since July ’21 as traders see improvement in U.S. winter wheat crop conditions and a lack of significant weather issues across key northern hemisphere wheat producers. The front month May contract closed today at it’s life-of-contract low of $6.22 ¾ per bushel.
Crude oil continued its almost 9-month decline in prices from over $120 per barrel last June to trade below $65 per barrel (basis May) on Monday, including a ±$15 / $15,000 per contract fall from March 7, scarcely two weeks.
Natural gas basis its May futures contract tested 32-month lows yesterday, threatening to punch through $2.00 per million British thermal units (MMBtu). With the North American winter heating season approaching its end, residential, commercial, and industrial gas demand has been on the decline.
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