Markets in Japan have been the most volatile recently, and while they continue to be, the large moves have subsided as some sense of normalcy returns. The market there was down 1.65% today.
Mexico had one of the stronger days around the world as markets there picked up 1.73%. The S&P500 in the U.S. was relatively flat and closed at 1,297.54, a 0.29% increase. Economic news out of the States was evidence that it may be improving, but still not hitting on all cylinders. New home sales reached a record low in February as 250,000 homes were sold versus an anticipated 290,000. The 16.9% drop from January was the second month in a row of lower figures. Additionally, it was announced today that gasoline reserves dropped 5.32 million barrels last week, significantly greater than the 1.8 million expected, the results drove up oil prices on the day.
The Colcap traded up 0.12% to 1,743.02 today after spending much of the day in negative territory. The market was led by ETB (up 6.71%) which announced a possible sale of shares by the majority owner, the city of Bogota. It isn’t yet fully known whether a sale would result in a minority stake for the government, though markets tend to like fewer shares in the hands of bureaucracies as businesses lean toward preference of profits opposed to extensions of the government with a larger private investor base.
The peso was nearly unchanged and closed at 1,867.05.
Oil was up again today over lower reserve numbers. WTI closed over $105/barrel, the highest level since August of 2008.