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Today in the Market (3/19/2024)

Good Morning! On Tuesday, U.S. equities finished up, while the Bank of Japan ended its period of negative interest rates by implementing its first increase in 17 years.

The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ both started lower but gained momentum to end up by 0.56% & 0.39%, respectively. However, the Dow Jones was green all day and surged by 0.83%.

EV INFRASTRUCTURE

Shell (SHEL) intends to divest certain retail establishments, such as gas stations, to prioritize the development of EV charging infrastructure. Shell stated in its 2024 Energy Transition Strategy report that they are enhancing their retail network by introducing additional electric vehicle charging and convenience services to meet the evolving demands of customers.

Going forward… Shell has indicated that to enhance its charging business, it will be necessary to identify additional sites or expand the dimensions of existing Shell stations. But why? The company expressed its intention to allocate greater resources towards public charging, in contrast to the current priority for home charging initiatives in the U.S. Shell’s rationale for this decision results from its belief that public charging will benefit its customer base the most.

However, Shell has bigger plans! Shell has announced its intention to dedicate increased attention to China and Europe, which have more developed EV markets and substantial demand for public EV charging infrastructure. Shell has expressed its objective of increasing the number of charge points from 54,000 to 200,000 by 2030.

THE END OF AN ERA

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The Bank of Japan has ended an assertive monetary stimulus program aimed at easing the economic downturn by putting an end to the world’s final remaining period of negative interest rates

Economic lesson time! The Central Bank of Japan has been struggling with a distinct challenge: the urgent need for economic expansion. To stimulate economic growth, Japan implemented a policy of reducing borrowing costs, which incentivized both consumers and businesses to engage in spending activities. In contrast, the U.S. Federal Reserve is anticipated to initiate a reduction in interest rates sometime this year after a prolonged period of combating record levels of inflation.

So how much did Japan increase its interest rates? The Central Bank of Japan terminated its negative policy rate of -0.1% and introduced a revised target range of 0.0-0.1%. The hike, the first in 17 years, signifies the conclusion of a period during which central banks conducted an unusual trial following the global financial crisis to stimulate economic expansion.

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