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17.03.2023 01:39 PM
US premarket trade on March 17, 2023. Stock indices close week with gains

US stock futures are holding steady on Friday after yesterday's rally. US Treasury yields end this turbulent week with gains amid persistent worries that the financial turmoil that has gripped the bond and stock markets is not yet over.

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S&P 500 futures contracts were down by just 0.1% after rising by 1.8% yesterday. A deposit lifeline for First Republic Bank from major US banks helped ease the tension. Yet, this couldn't prevent its shares from falling during premarket trading hours. Nasdaq 100 futures stayed unchanged as traders expect the Fed to ease its monetary tightening at the meeting next week.

Big US banks, such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc., joined their effort to support First Republic Bank. Although this step can help improve the market sentiment, investors doubt this will be enough to stop the bank crisis. Banks looking for cash infusions have already borrowed $11.9 billion under the Bank Term Funding Program. Those who took a more traditional route, using the Fed's discount window under slightly less favorable terms, borrowed a total of $153 billion.

Although markets hope to avoid a full-blown financial crisis, investors cannot turn a blind eye to what is happening right now, especially when the possibility of a further rate hike by the Fed can push the US economy closer to a recession.

Europe's benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 dropped, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Banks index is on course to close the week with a 9% fall. Shares of the troubled Swiss lender Credit Suisse Group AG resumed their decline as the idea of a forced merger with larger rival UBS Group AG was rejected. Yesterday, the bank's shares rose by almost 20% after the Swiss Central Bank provided support in the form of opening another credit line. Bonds across Europe rose. At the same time, German 10-year bond yields were down by four basis points.

The 2-year Treasury yield remained volatile on Friday, fluctuating in the range of 20 basis points. At the moment, traders are trying to predict the pace of the rate hike. Interest-rate swaps show that there is more than an 80% chance of a quarter-point rate increase by the Fed next week, which promises some optimism.

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As for the technical outlook for the S&P 500, we can see that the pressure on risk assets has eased. The index will rise only if bulls manage to break above $3,977, from where the price may head for $4,010. Gaining control over the area of $4,038 is another goal for bulls today as this will allow them to stop the bearish market. In case of a further decline amid the pessimistic sentiment and reduced expectations of US consumers as well as sluggish demand, the buyers will have to assert their strength at the level of $3,950. Its breakout will push the price toward $3,920 and will pave the way to $3,890.

Jakub Novak,
Analytical expert of InstaForex
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