Article Highlights

  • U.S. crude oil inventories up by 2.8M barrels vs. 1.5M forecast
  • Trump administration compiled infrastructure priority list
  • U.S. stock indices surge to new record highs again, Dow breaks above 20K
  • New Zealand quarterly CPI up 0.4% vs. 0.3% consensus in Q4
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U.S. equity indices surged to new record highs as the Trump team published its infrastructure priority list, but the Greenback was unable to participate in the rallies.

Major Events:

Trump’s infrastructure list – The biggest market story for the day was the Dow’s move past the 20,000 level, spurred by upbeat earnings reports and positive expectations stemming from the Trump administration’s infrastructure spending plans. In fact, the Trump infrastructure priority list, which comprised 50 projects nationwide amounting to at least $137.5 billion, underscored the President’s “America First” plans to focus on rebuilding roads, bridges, and airports in the homeland.

Some of the projects included in the list are the new terminal for the Kansas City Airport, Interstate 95 upgrades in North Carolina, a proposal to replace the nation’s air traffic control system, the Alaska Pipeline & LNG Project, the Fort Mojave Solar Project, the DC Station expansion and rehab plans, and the Seattle Airport expansion. Most of these are public-private partnerships in which half the funds are expected to come from private investment. The document also indicated how many jobs each project is expected to generate and the status for engineering, permitting, and funding.

As it turns out, this preliminary list of “Emergency and National Security Projects” was provided to the National Governors’ Association by Trump’s team and that the entries were already being vetted. However, White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters said that this isn’t an official document. Alternative facts, maybe?

Still, equities rallied upon hearing the news, with the S&P 500 index advancing 18.30 points to 2,297.37 (+0.80%), the Nasdaq up to 5,656.34 (+0.99%), and the Dow 30 index up 155.80 points to 20,068.51 (+0.78%). Gold dipped $8.13 to $1,200.69/ounce while bond yields ticked higher.

Major Market Movers:

GBP – Sterling kept climbing throughout the day, extending its gains after the U.K. High Court ruled that parliamentary approval is needed before Brexit negotiations officially start.

GBP/USD climbed past the 1.2600 handle, GBP/JPY rallied from 142.85 to a high of 143.52, EUR/GBP slid from .8624 to test the .8500 level, and GBP/AUD rose from 1.6600 to a high of 1.6721.

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