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Market price considerations for week beginning March 20

Although the Federal Reserve raised its Fed Funds rate, as promised, the markets did not respond as negatively as many feared.

March 20, 2017

3 Min Read
Bobby Coats and Bert Greenwalt, agricultural economists with the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University, catch up at the Agricultural Council of Arkansas annual meeting in Little Rock.

True to its word the Federal Reserve raised its Fed Funds rate 25 basis points to 0.75 to 1 percent on March 15. The action wasn’t as disruptive to the commodity markets as it could have been given previous statements.

“What made the move by the U.S. Federal Reserve ‘Dovish’ was market participants anticipated three more rate hikes in 2017 and possibly indications that the Fed would shrink its balance sheet,” said Bobby Coats, professor of agricultural economics and agribusiness with the University of Arkansas Systems Division of Agriculture.

“But the Fed indicated their POLICY STANCE REMAINS ACCOMMODATIVE basically in all ways and presently planned only 2 more rate hikes in 2017.”

The day of the Fed announcement markets responded by stocks being up; bond yields were bullish with a lower yield; dollar weakness; and commodity prices in general rose on the news, says Dr. Coats.

“Market participants are not expecting another Fed Funds Rate hike until June 13-14, 2017 and maybe even not then, given potentially emerging global economic headwinds as the year progresses.”

To see Dr. Coats’ analysis of the current outlook for a number of markets, click on the attached.

Here’s the analysis accompanying this week’s charts:

Global government and Central Bank or global fiscal, monetary, trade and regulatory policy activities for the week of March 13, 2017 were bullish and re-energized the badly needed global reflation effort. Consider the following potential market impacts:

10-Year US Treasury Yield:

Slightly bullish with a potentially lower yield

Yield remains in a sideways range between 2.3 – 2.6

US Dollar Index:

More weakness than strength

Trading range between 95 -104


CRB Index:

Building a base to move higher

Global macro forces in general remain supportive as global growth and reflationary forces continue to bear fruit

$WTIC Light Crude Oil:

Light Crude Oil is presently undergoing corrective price action, which will likely define a near term price floor

Fundamentals are bearish and Macro Forces are bullish

2017 – Likely primary range $40 to $60 with possible high in $72 area


Corrective price action underway

Soybean prices the week of March 20, 2017 need to hold above $9.92 otherwise $9.31 becomes a consideration.

Fed dovish stance March 15, 2107 and other factors likely supportive of the $9.92 price area; therefore a potential price move toward the previous June 2016 $12.08 per bushel high or higher is still in play


Corrective price action underway with the potential of achieving a price level of $4.11- plus per bushel remains in play


Given fundamentals, price will move in sympathy with grain prices and global economic momentum

Lagging demand increasingly problematic

Overplanting in 2017 given present fundamentals would provide added market challenges

Rice producers’ overriding consideration for 2017 should be managing for a quality grain kernel


Complex price action underway with a bullish price objective into the 84-cent area still remains in play. Past negative Fed verbal guidance and fiscal and trade policy considerations impact on cotton market prices appear to be subsiding


Corrective price action underway, but bullish price potential to $4.95 still a possibility


Consolidation period underway, corrective price action likely, but price trend remains up

QQQ NASDAQ Power Shares:

Trend remains up, consolidation period coming  

EFA iShares ETF - Global Equities Excluding U.S. and Canada:

Building momentum and price strength 

EEM iShares ETF, Emerging Market Equities:

Momentum remains positive


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