Daily summary: Shares wipe out gains at end of volatile session

10:20 pm 23 March 2023

The major indices on Wall Street erased early gains. The S&P500 was on a slight losing streak due to the sizable weighting of the financial sector. The Nasdaq still gained 0.6%. The Dow Jones found itself with a 0.18% loss. Momentum declines on Wall Street initiated in the latter part of today's session were, however, somewhat abruptly reversed by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who said she would provide additional support on deposits if needed;

A deepening sell-off in First Republic Bank shares meant that investors remained cautious and retreated in the face of the prospect of an escalating banking crisis. Shares of major banks like JP Morgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup also fell.

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Yesterday's comments from Citigroup CEO Fraser failed to sustainably improve market sentiment. Powell's stance, which described the US banking sector as resilient and bank liquidity as sufficient, did not make sentiment around the US financial industry improve;

US jobless claims came in below analysts' expectations, which testified to the continued strength of the US labor market.

Block inc (SQ.US) stocks came under selling pressure in the face of the disclosure of a short position by the Hindenburg Research. The fund shared a free report with the market that questioned the business fundamentals and integrity of the company;

Two more central banks - the UK BoE and the Swiss SNB raised interest rates by 25bp and 50bp respectively, indicating that the fight against inflation remains a priority. UBS bank shares fell nearly 4% after the Swiss central bank's decision'

Precious metals gained amid concerns about the health of the banking sector. Gold climbed back above $2,000, silver rose above $23.3 per ounce;

NATGAS is losing nearly 2.5% today in the face of a US gas inventories report that was in line with expectations. The amount of gas in storage was an estimated 1,900 Bcf. This gives a net decrease of 72 Bcf from the previous week. Inventories were 504 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 351 Bcf above the five-year average of 1,549 Bcf. At the current level of 1,900 Bcf, the total gas inventory is within the five-year range of historical levels;

Bitcoin has been gaining rapidly on the wave of bullish sentiment on Wall Street, however, the dynamic upward momentum has been partially halted and the major cryptocurrency is currently hovering near the $28,000 level.

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