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Banks dictate the market – is everything lost?

The banking sector sparked a volatile week as Fed is trying to bail out the crash. Safe havens are back on the menu.

Stockmarket is trying to survive the banking crash

The main indices are experiencing a volatility that is shaking the market. Despite SVB’s rescue, investors evaluated a dramatic decline in interest rates with expectations of a less hawkish Fed and prolonged upheaval in the banking industry.

The European Central Bank, on the other hand, planned to proceed with the 50 basis point (bps) rate rise at its forthcoming meeting.  According to Bloomberg, this may face significant pushback as rising rates appear to be the main driver of the banking sector’s demise.

After the fall of Silicon Valley Bank, and Signature Bank, the US government and Federal Reserve agreed to protect all depositors, rescuing the troubled institutions. SVB is currently on hold at 106.04 after a 60% crash, and SB currently showing a stock price of 70.

bank crash

SVB 1H chart, source: tradingview.com

First Republic Bank fell more than 50%. Shares of large banks such as JP Morgan, Bank of America, and Citigroup also declined dramatically despite the Fed’s backing.

You may also like: Financial sector bleeds amid bank failures; who’s next to go bust?

Investors speculated that the instability in the banking industry might compel the Fed to reconsider its rate rise course. The yield on two-eary bonds fell 57.2 bps to 4.016% in the worst one-day decline since the 1987 Black Monday stock market meltdown. This is also a six week low.

Nonetheless, tech stocks contributed to the wider market rebound supported by the decline in Treasury rates. Apple was up more than 2%, however, thanks to the high volatility closed only 1.33% higher. Microsoft was up 3% and closed 2.14% in the green, and Alphabet settled 0.93% higher. The focus will now shift to inflation.

Safe havens to the rescue

The greenback’s index, which puts the US dollar versus six other currencies, fell as rising short-term Treasury rates were the primary factor behind it’s recent strength. With a crash of this calibre, the US dollar got sucked into the vortex with almost a 1% decline close to the 103.2 area.

The repercussions from SVB benefitted the Japanese and Swiss currencies, acting as safe havens. USD/JPY rose 1.26% to 133.33, while USD/CHF tanked 1.02% to 0.91.

The euro climbed 0.79% to $1.0727. Prior to Thursday’s meeting of the European Central Bank’s governing council, the euro reached a near one-month high of $1.0737. The British pound was valued at $1.2181, an increase of 1.27% over the previous day’s closing price.

More to read: From bank run to depression – a vocabulary of financial doomsdays 

Gold also has a strong safe haven tradition, which came to traders’ benefit today. Gold futures for April delivery is up more than 2%, breaking through the $1,900 barrier like nothing, touching $1,920 with the closing bell. Silver futures for May joined it’s big yellow brother with a 7% gain to trade above $22. 

Oil on the other hand, maintained it’s risky nature and high volatility dominated the oil trade thanks to the banking scare. Both global crude benchmarks closed in the red. WTI oil futures closed 2.6% down, while the UK’s Brent, after a 5.8% dump below $79, rebounded to $80. 

Tomáš is a financial reporter with US markets as his main field. Tomáš is an aspiring author and entrepreneur aspiring to help people get better in financial knowledge.

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