U.S. Equity Markets fell for the second straight day, with all three main Indexes closing lower by 0.75%, while the VIX closed 8% higher. There was still focus on overexuberance in the markets, with Goldman Sachs saying the S&P 500 short interest was near record lows. And JPMorgan Chase said that hedge funds were positioned as net long at the highest level in years. A Reuters report unveiled a letter that Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell wrote to Senators, saying that inflation will temporarily run above 2%. But Powell added that the Fed will not let it run above 2% for too long. There were also reports that President Joe Biden was going to unveil his “American Family Plan” – with $1 trillion in spending alongside child tax credits. Earnings season remains positive, with strong reports from Travelers and Procter & Gamble while Netflix disappointed after the close. European Markets declined on average 2%. Germany’s producer price index data for March was stronger than expected, signalling the country’s economy continues to gather strength. French Health Minister Olivier Veran said he would be in favour of easing social-distancing restrictions on a regional basis, as the country saw a decline in daily coronavirus infections. But he warned that the overall trend of cases remains elevated. Spain’s Health Ministry was said to consider delaying the second doses of COVID-19 vaccinations for individuals under 80, in an attempt to maximize current supply. Chinese President Xi Jinping was critical of the U.S., while speaking to officials at the Boao Forum on Asia, saying international affairs should be decided by all countries and not just a few. Tokyo officials were said to be preparing to ask the central government to declare a state of emergency as soon as April 22, due to a resurgence in coronavirus infections. China’s benchmark lending one- and five-year loan prime rates remained unchanged for a 12th-straight month, as the central bank remains focused on removing excessive debt. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s meeting minutes showed it was prepared to increase bond purchases in order to maintain economic support. Elsewhere, Oil closed 1.31% lower on demand concerns after Japan was reportedly set to declare another state of emergency, while Gold rose 0.45% as investors rotated into safe haven assets.
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