It was a relatively busy week on the economic data front, with the German and Eurozone economies back in focus.
Early in the week, ZEW Economic Sentiment figures for Germany and the Eurozone drew attention.
Germany’s Economic Sentiment Index rose from 71.2 to 76.6, with the Eurozone’s climbing from 69.6 to 74.0.
Wage growth figures for the Eurozone were also positive for the EUR, while trade data disappointed.
In January, the Eurozone’s trade surplus narrowed from €29.2bn to just €6.3bn.
At the end of the week, German wholesale inflation figures delivered some support.
Other stats in the week included finalized inflation figures for France, Italy, and the Eurozone. These had a muted impact on the EUR and the European majors, however.
From the U.S
It was a busier week on the economic data front.
Key stats included retail sales and industrial production figures in the first half of the week.
The stats were skewed to the negative with retail sales taking a hit in February and industrial production hitting reverse.
On Thursday, jobless claims figures also disappointed, while Philly FED Manufacturing numbers for March impressed.
Initial jobless claims rose from 725k to 770k in the week ending 12th March.
Impressive numbers from Philly softened the blow, with the index surging to a 50-year high 51.8 in March.
While the stats drew plenty of attention, the FED monetary policy decision, press conference, and FOMC projections were the main event.
FED Chair Powell continued to stand by his promise of low for longer, with projections pointing to no likely rate hike until at least 2023.
This was in spite of a forecasted surge in economic growth and a bounce back in inflation.
The Market Movers
From the DAX, it was a bullish week for the auto sector. Volkswagen surged by 17.35% to lead the way, with BMW rallying by 6.02%. Continental and Daimler ended the week with gains of 4.58% and 3.77% respectively.
It was another mixed week for the banking sector. Deutsche Bank rose by 0.09%, while Commerzbank fell by 3.80%.
From the CAC, it was a mixed week for the banks. BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole fell by 3.64% and by 1.70% respectively, while Soc Gen rose by 1.88%.
It was a bearish week for the French auto sector. Renault and Stellantis NV ended the week with losses of 3.73% and 2.46% respectively.
Air France-KLM and Airbus ending the week down by 2.11% and by 2.66% respectively.
On the VIX Index
It was a back into the green for the VIX in the week ending 19th March. Following an 16.10% slide from the previous week, the VIX rose by 1.26% to end the week at 20.95.
For the week, the Dow fell by 0.46%, with NASDAQ and the S&P500 declining by 0.79% and by 0.77% respectively.