Wall Street closes higher in post FOMC session, core PCE in focus

US equities finished higher in a volatile session following Wednesday’s FOMC minutes release. The Dow Jones rose 0.3% to 33,154, the S&P went up 0.5% to 4,012 and the Nasdaq increased 0.7% to 11,590. Treasury yields were mostly lower, as the yield on the 2-year note was unchanged at 4.7%, while the yields on the 10-year and 30-year notes both decreased by 4 and 5 bps respectively to the same level of 3.88%. US Dollar remained in demand with DXY up 0.1% at 104.64. In economic news, jobless claims came below expectations at 192k for the week ended February 18, while Q4 GDP growth was unexpectedly revised lower to 2.7% q/q versus 2.9% estimate. The inflation components came in well above estimates with GDP Price Index rising 3.9% versus 3.5% expected. The focus today will be on personal income and spending data for January, the Fed’s preferred inflation measure. Personal income is expected to have increased by 1%, while spending should have advanced by 1.3%. New home sales and University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index are also due to be released.

Today is the anniversary of Russian invasion to Ukraine. According to Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Russia is “setting conditions” to attack Belarus and make it appear as though the attack was launched by Ukraine, in order to force Belarus into war. The UK announced another sanctions package against Russia, with MTS-Bank, Uralsib, Zenit and SBP-Bank in sanctions list, among other companies and persons. Australia imposed new sanctions against 90 Russian individuals and 40 entities, with targets including ministers overseeing energy, resources and industry sectors, as well as major players in defense. US and EU also may impose new sanctions package today. Russian equity market showed little volumes because of holidays in the country.

SSA continues the strong performance ahead of the US PCE data release later in the session. Oilers maintained their outperformance on Thursday; ANGOL (+2.00) and NIGERIA (+1.45) saw sustained bids. Oilers again lead at the open; ANGOL (+0.625) while NIGERIA (+0.50) appears to have shrugged off pre-election nerves. Ghana (+0.10) joins in on the act but on a comparatively muted note.

The NTB secondary market closed flat with average yields across the curve remaining unchanged.

In the OMO secondary market, average yields also closed flat. Average yields at the short and medium maturities remained unchanged.

The FGN bonds secondary market closed on a slightly positive note with average yields across the curve dropping by 2bps. Average yields on the short & medium ends of the curve dropped by 1bps & 5bps respectively while the average yield on the long end closed flat. The Apr 2029 bond was the best performer while the Feb 2028 bond was the worst performer.