DAILY MARKET NEWS - 20-03-2024

Ariff Azraei

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Super Micro Computer, a tech infrastructure company riding the AI wave that was recently added to the main board, is raising capital through a two million common share offering underwritten by Goldman Sachs. The funds are said to be used for operations, inventory, manufacturing capacity expansion, and R&D investments. While the stock has surged over 900% in the past year, underwriters struggle to find enough buyers with offers ranging from $900 to $1000 a unit. This lack of interest sent the stock down a spiral, losing 18% since its addition.


The S&P 500 closed at an all-time high on Tuesday after strength in energy stocks and bets against Treasury yields supported equity before the Fed meetings. Nvidia remains the centre of attention after unveiling new AI chips, with CEO Jensen Huang estimating the data centre market to grow to over $250 billion a year. Tesla's stock valuation came under scrutiny as analysts weighed the impact of softening EV demand on its long-term prospects with growing Chinese competitors.


Gold prices retreated on Tuesday as the dollar strengthened ahead of the Fed meeting. Despite inflation being above the Fed's 2% target, traders remain divided on the timing of potential rate cuts, closely watching for clues from Fed Chair Jerome Powell's press conference. The price is expected to consolidate with an average price of $2154 until the rate decision.


Oil trade saw a mild pullback as the strengthening dollar weighed on investor appetite, despite ongoing supply tightness concerns. Traders locked in gains after recent price surges, while awaiting cues from the Fed on potential rate cuts. Russian refinery attacks by Ukraine and OPEC+'s extended output cuts pointed to sustained tight supplies. Upcoming crude inventory will make demand projections clearer in the coming month.


The yen depreciated as the Bank of Japan committed to buying more bonds despite hiking rates and ending yield curve control. The USDJPY soared to mid-November highs above 151, while the EURJPY reached levels not seen since the 2008 financial crisis. Citi analysts highlighted the yen's vulnerability in the near term, with the currency's fortunes tied to the path of U.S. interest rates and the Federal Reserve easing later in 2024. PBoC kept its prime rate unchanged, while investors are keeping their eyes on any clues, not to the Fed decision but to its tone of speech.