US cash equity markets are sharply lower at the closing bell (DJIA -1.5%, S&P -1.1%, NASDAQ %), with the Dow snapping its longest monthly winning streak since 1959. US government bonds yields have also eased back after yesterday’s rally but the Dollar Index has risen again as comments made by Fed Chair Powell yesterday continue to impact the markets. Weaker than expected macro data released today may have limited gains in the Greenback as Chicago PMI dropped to a six-month low and pending home sales slumped -4.7% MoM. Also of note, Q4 GDP was unrevised from the prior reading +2.5%. Elsewhere in FX, the Japanese Yen remains the outperformer among the G10’s while Sterling is the laggard after the EU released their draft Brexit agreement which included the possibility of Northern Ireland staying in the customs union. Elsewhere, oil prices have recovered off the lows with US crude futures settling at $61.64 (-$1.37). Still to come today, earnings after the Wall Street close from Mylan, SalesForce.com and L-Brands.
* CNBC: Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square has been building a stake in United Technologies, the investor told CNBC. He also dropped his shirt on HerbalLife.
* According to a survey, OPEC oil output fell 70K BPD MoM in February to 32.28 Mln BPD, the lowest since April 2017.
* EIA: US oil production fell 108K BPD in December to 9.949 Mln BPD.
* Minneapolis Fed Governor Kashkari said he wants to see growth in wages build and inflation to increase towards 2% before supporting a rate hike, adding there may well be some slack in the labour market. Kashkari stated we should allow a tight labour market to continue to run to get more workers back to work.
* US Crude futures settled at $61.64 (-$1.37) | Brent Crude futures settled at $65.78 (-$0.85)