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[Platinum Insights] (5.4.23)

[Platinum Insights] (5.4.23)
August 22, 2023

Good morning. 

 U.S. stock index futures wavered on Thursday as PacWest Bancorp exploring strategic options deepened concerns about the health of regional banks. Investors now look ahead to a key US monthly jobs report on Friday to guide the monetary policy outlook.  

In the first four months of 2023, employers announced plans to cut 337,411 jobs, a 322% increase from the same period a year earlier, and the highest January-April total since 2020.  

The central bank on raised rates by 25 basis points to the 5.00%-5.25% range and signaled a pause in its policy tightening. U.S. stocks ended lower on Wednesday after Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that it was too soon to say with certainty that the rate-hike cycle was over as inflation remains the chief concern. “The committee will closely monitor incoming information and assess the implications for monetary policy,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement Wednesday.  

PacWest Bancorp tumbled 36.3% in premarket trading following talks with potential partners and investors about strategic options after shares of the regional lender and its peers got hammered amid fears of a worsening banking crisis. Shares of other regional lenders such as KeyCorp, Valley National Bancorp and Zions Bancorp fell between 4.5% and 6.6%, while Western Alliance Bancorp dropped 17.2% despite noting that it had not experienced unusual deposit outflows following the sale of First Republic.  

WTI crude futures were trading below $69 per barrel. Gold held around $2,040 an ounce while the yield on the US 10-year Treasury note fell back to under the 3.4% level.

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