ClearWater Market Commentary as of March 18th, 2022

Here is the ClearWater Market Commentary as of March 18th, 2022:

In this issue:
– Performance of Major Indices
– Market Commentary
– Last Week’s Key Economic  Events and Upcoming Events

Performance of Principle Indexes: 

S&P/TSX Composite Index  
5 Day3.01%
1 Month3.86%
1 Year15.96%

As of 2022/03/18 – Source:

Index PerformancesLast 5 DaysYTD
Hang Seng Index8.65%-9.30%
Russell 20007.36%-7.16%
S&P 5006.95%-6.36%
Nikkei 2256.00%-6.20%
CAC 403.73%-7.63%
FTSE 1003.38%0.71%
S&P/TSX Composite3.01%2.81%
Dow Jones Industrial2.67%2.61%
Shanghai Composite0.94%-10.61%
WTI Crude (oil)-5.20%37.80%

As of 2022/03/18 – Source:

Last week’s and next week’s key economic events:

US economy (S&P 500 6.95%):

  • Stocks moved higher for the week, ending a two-week losing streak and reclaiming much of the ground lost over the past month. Gains were widespread across the major indexes, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite staging the biggest rally.
  • Markets were supported by multiple factors, including falling oil prices, news that Russia had avoided defaulting on its sovereign debt, and the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting.
  • While fighting continued in Ukraine, investor sentiment was also buoyed during the week by continued negotiations to end the conflict.
  • As expected, the Fed raised its short-term lending rate by 25 basis points (a quarter percentage point) at its March meeting, moving the fed funds target rate from near zero to a range of 0.25% to 0.50%.
  • It was the first rate hike by the Fed since 2018 and marked a key step away from the ultra-accommodative monetary policy the central bank instituted in the early days of the pandemic. Policymakers’ economic forecast, shows they are expecting to raise rates seven times in 2022, according to the median projection.
  • The inflation forecast shows that policymakers see a broadening in price pressures beyond the pandemic-related disruptions that had caused the initial spike in prices. The Fed intends to shift the stance of monetary policy from accommodative to neutral and then to slightly restrictive before the end of next year, another sign that it intends to move at a fast pace to address inflation.
  • Equity markets seemed satisfied with the Fed’s approach and rallied following the meeting.
  • Continuing claims for unemployment insurance fell to a 52-year low, showing continued strength in the labour market.
  • In a possible sign of peaking inflation, the headline producer price index decelerated during the month of February and the gain in core prices held steady with January’s pace.

Canadian markets (S&P/TSX 2.81%):

  • Led by gains in the technology and industrial sectors, Canada’s main stock index set new record highs Friday.
  • The S&P/TSX composite index was up 47.25 points to an all-time close of 21,818.47 after reaching an intraday record of 21,877.14.
  • The positive sentiment followed a hawkish tone from U.S. Federal Reserve when it raised interest rates earlier this week as well as hopes of a ceasefire to the war in Ukraine.
  • Energy fell even though crude oil prices increased to remain above US$100 per barrel.
  • The Canadian dollar traded for 79.26 cents US compared with 79.05 cents US on Thursday.
  • Canadian existing home sales (Feb., m/m seasonally adjusted) rose (4.6%, from 1.0%). However, sales did slow from the torrid pace set last year (-8.2% y/y). The MLS Home Price Index jumped (3.5% m/m), marking the fastest monthly gain on record and bringing prices 29.2% y/y higher.

Performance 2021: S&P 500/400/600 Sectors

European and Asian economies:

  • Shares in Europe gained ground for a second consecutive week amid cautious optimism that negotiations between Russia and Ukraine could yield a peace plan. China’s announcement that it would take measures to support the economy and financial markets also appeared to boost sentiment.
  • The BoE raised interest rates to 0.75% from 0.50%, aiming to curb inflation that it now expects to reach 8% by the end of June.
  • The BoE’s still sees the potential for three more rate increases this year because of evidence of decoupling inflation expectations, the emergence of a price-wage spiral, a tight labour market, and a resilient services sector.
  • European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde still had a more bearish tone though in last week’s meeting. She warned that the Ukraine conflict could trigger “new inflationary trends,” as inflation expectations become embedded, companies onshore supply chains, and countries switch to different sources for energy supplies.
  • Japan’s stock markets registered five consecutive days of gains, with the Nikkei 225 Index finishing the week 6.62% higher.
  • The sentiment was supported by the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ’s) continued commitment to its dovish stance amid a global shift toward tighter monetary policy, as well as the government’s announcement that it was set to lift all remaining quasi-states of emergency.
  • The BoJ’s March monetary policy confirmed they will continue with quantitative and qualitative monetary easing.
  • The government is set to lift all remaining quasi-states of emergency on March 21, leaving the country free of domestic coronavirus restrictions for the first time since January.
  • Chinese markets weakened during the week with the broad, but the tone at the end of the week was positive after policymakers pledged economic support.
  • Chinese officials said they would introduce market-friendly policies and keep the capital market running smoothly. China’s top financial policy body vowed to ensure stability in capital markets, support overseas stock listings, resolve risks around property developers and complete the crackdown on Big Tech “as soon as possible.”
  • There was some optimism around resolving the U.S.-China audit dispute following a report that Beijing plans to make concessions. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s demand for detailed audit documents from U.S.-listed Chinese firms recently had partly contributed to the wave of selling in their American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) amid delisting worries.
  • The property sector saw some relief as state media reported the property tax pilot scheme would not be expanded.
  • In economic news, China reported better-than-expected activity in the January-February period with help from policy easing measures and the easing of power and chip shortages. The year-on-year growth of industrial production, fixed-asset investment, and retail sales were all significantly above December 2021 levels and well above market expectations.

What to watch this week:

  • Canada Provincial Budgets
  • US durable goods orders data
  • UK and Eurozone consumer confidence data
  • UK inflation and retail sales data
  • Global Purchasing Manager Indices
  • 7 S&P 500 and 8 S&P/TSX companies report earnings

Sources:,, Barron’, and

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