Good morning. Equity markets finished the Tuesday session on a positive note with traders eyeing key Non Farm Payroll Data later in the week. Consumer Confidence figures early in the session pushed the indices lower before a late recovery. Recording 63.4 for the month of march, the result was slightly below initial expectations of 65. Economists highlighted that Initial Claims, Non Farm Payrolls, Unemployment and Factory Orders later in the week will define the trends for both the equity and currency markets. Light Crude Oil weakened slightly, while Gold held its current level. Japanese Government Officials on Tuesday commented on corporate tax cuts and nationalisation of Tokyo Electric in light of recent events. Discounting the possibility of both, the market reacted negatively with a slight fall in the Nikkei on Tuesday. Emerging Markets experienced volatility during the session, with Turkey leading the charge. Citing political unrest in Syria, the market was uncertain as to the economic and political impact the situation would cause on its neighbour.
On the equity market front, the S&P500 closed 0.7% higher with the retail, technology and entertainment sectors driving gains. CBS Corporation received a positive outlook with Analysts highlighting a positive shift in advertising revenues. Retailer Van Heusen announced a strong quarterly result, with the stock recording an 8% gain.
On the currency front, the Aussie Dollar began the session on a strong note before weakening late in the day. Profit taking coupled with speculation surrounding retail sales data set to be released later in the week in Australia, were highlighted as contributing factors. Non Farm Payroll Data in the US will also influence the trend, as markets expect buoyant data. Traders continue to watch monetary policy comments by the RBA and how the recent events have impacted growth in the country. The AUDUSD traded at 1.0231. A shift in sentiment helped drive gains in the greenback against the Japanese yen on Tuesday. The tankan report will be released in Japan on Thursday with traders uncertain over the manufacturing conditions and general health of the economy. Markets previously anticipated a fall in overall business confidence for the period. Governmental officials commented on the fukushima nuclear plant situation, citing the possibility of complete fallout. Initial indications of low radiation levels and limited contamination have been discounted. The USDJPY reacted with a strong trend late in the day. It traded at 82.17.