Powell’s punch melts gold, boosts dollar, all eyes now on Nonfarm Payrolls

Markets remain depressed after the Fed’s Powell mostly dismissed rising bond yields, sending them and the greenback higher. US Nonfarm Payrolls are in focus and stimulus continues moving through the Senate. Oil is boosted by OPEC+ while Bitcoin extends its retreat.

Punch: Jerome Powell, Chair of the Federal Reserve, has said that the move in debt markets “caught my attention” but stressed that the bank is looking at a broad range of financial conditions and seemed to allow for yields to further rise. Returns on ten-year Treasuries surged above 1.55%, carrying the dollar higher and pushing yieldless gold below $1,700.

While stocks in Asia and Europe are on the back foot, S&P 500 futures are relatively stable as tension mounts toward February’s Nonfarm Payrolls report . Powell stressed that ten million Americans that have lost their jobs due to the pandemic are still out of work. An increase of only 182,000 is on the cards, with leading indicators leaning to the downside: The Unemployment Rate is set to remain above 6%.

China aims to hit a growth rate of 6% or higher in 2021, a target seen as ambitious given the world’s second-largest economy’s sheer size.

EUR/USD is trading below 1.20, also as the old continent continues struggling with COVID-19 and a slow vaccination campaign. Italy halted sending AstraZeneca doses to Australia, taking advantage of the EU’s export curbing powers.

GBP/USD is trading below 1.39 on the one-year anniversary of the first reported death from coronavirus. Britain’s immunization campaign is nearing one-third of the population.

WTI Crude Oil has surged above $64 after OPEC+ countries agreed to extend the majority of petrol production cuts through April. The surprising move came despite previous gains in the black gold.

Bitcoin is changing hands around $47,000, retreating from the $50K mark it has been hovering around in recent days. Ethereum and XRP are also on the back foot.

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