While the inevitable happened in the March FOMC meeting, the reaction in the dollar was very surprising and was modestly supportive to a number of commodities.
It would appear that the markets are locked and loaded for a March 15th rate hike, with some players suggesting an increase in probability that there will be three hikes this year.
The most important developments this past week were a market-perceived delay in the timing of the next US rate hike, another failed rally in the dollar, and upside breakouts in gold and silver off the latest wave of US/Chinese trade war fears.
The most important developments of last week were 1) indications that world oil producers were poised to extend production cuts (or even expand them if it becomes necessary to reduce global oil stocks to five year average levels) and 2) percolating fears of bird flu in Asia.
Just when it appeared that the reflation play was being reversed, the new US Administration managed to return its focus to pro-growth policy initiatives.
The outlook for China seems to have improved enough for them to raise short-term interest rates. In the wake of this general progression, growth-sensitive industrial commodities like crude oil and copper have already benefited.
It figures that just when it appeared as if positive equity market action and significant weakness in US Treasuries were about to confirm growth in the US economy, the US economic numbers turned sour.
Recent US economic data has shown some signs of improvement, with industrial production, housing starts and jobless claims all indicating positive progression.
US economic data continues to be disappointing, Trump and the GOP are trying to do everything at once, and they appear to be putting off tackling fiscal spending and tax reform in favor of wading into the quagmire of health care reform.
US data over the last several weeks have been disappointing, especially when one considers that the economy should have benefited from the holiday season.