US Markets: The US markets opened lackluster on Monday morning and remained in profit booking mode throughout the weak. Investor sentiment was jittery on the back of better than expected domestic data thereby reviving possibility of an early rate hike by US Federal Reserve and geo-political headwinds. On the macroeconomic data front, a report from the US Commerce Department showed that new home sales grew 7.8% to an annual rate of 539,000 in February (analyst expected it at 462,000). US consumer price index increased up 0.2% in February 2015 after falling by 0.7% in January 2015. A report from the US Commerce Department mid-week also depicted an unexpected drop in durable goods order in Feb 2015 (down 1.4%). US initial jobless claims fell more than expected for the week ended 21st March 2015. Initial jobless claims fell to 282,000 from the earlier week levels of 291,000.
European Markets: The European markets opened strongly positive at the start of the week on the back of positive domestic macro economic data but succumb to profit booking as the week progressed on account of worries over slowdown in China and global geo-political headwinds. On the macroeconomic front, Euro zone private sector grew at the fastest pace in 4 years while Germany’s private sector expanded at the strongest pace in last 8 months.
Global Markets: China HSBC manufacturing PMI came in at 49.2 for March 2015 (50.7 in Feb 2015) thereby depicting contraction in manufacturing activity. Indian markets continued their non-stop fall. Within March, the Nifty index has fallen from a high of 9119 to a low of 8270, thereby making March 2015 one of the most negative months since Sep 2001. On the political front, Saudi Arabia and its allies launched air strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen, which caused volatility in crude oil prices, and Asian stock markets.