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Week of March 18th: Central Bank Meetings, Reddit’s IPO, NVIDIA's AI Conference

Plus500 | Monday 18 March 2024

The week of March 18th is eventful as many economic events and releases are set to take place, providing valuable information about the financial markets and the global economies. From central bank meetings to NVIDIA’s developer conference and Reddit’s IPO, here are this week’s main events:

An illustration of economic charts

AI in the Spotlight: NVIDIA’s GTC 2024 Conference 

Tech giant, NVIDIA’s biggest Artificial Intelligence (AI) conference, the Graphics Technology Conference (GTC), which kicked off on Sunday is set to continue, on Monday, March 18 with a speech by Jensen Huang the company’s CEO.

Amidst the increasingly rising demand for AI and heightened competition, both tech fanatics and NVIDIA (NVDA) traders may want to keep an eye out for this conference. This is because NVIDIA is expected to reveal more AI products that could potentially shape the AI landscape and the company’s future trajectory. These products are as follows: 

  • B100 Blackwell AI Chip: NVIDIA is set to unveil its new and “most capable chip for AI computing in the industry” called the “B100 Blackwell.” This chip is an upgraded version of NVIDIA’s current and highly demanded GPU, the H200 chip.

  • Updates in the CUDA software: Compute Unified Architecture (CUDA) is NVIDIA’s software responsible for the processing and expansion of GPU acceleration capabilities. The conference is expected to show the updates made to CUDA.

  • H20 AI Chips for China: Despite the US-SINO technology bans and tensions, NVIDIA is expected to announce the production of H20 AI chips in China. These chips are aimed at serving as an alternative to the powerful H100 and H200 chips. 

NVIDIA has gained a whopping 267% in the past 12 months and over 82% since the start of 2024 due to the AI hype. Therefore, it will be worth seeing whether or not this conference will have a substantial impact on AI stocks, in general, and NVIDIA’s shares in particular. (Source: Yahoo Finance)

NVIDIA PRICE CHART

Reddit’s Anticipated IPO: First Social Media IPO Since 2019

Reddit, the famously controversial American social media website, is set to go public on Thursday, March 21, in what was described as the first social media IPO since Pinterest's (PINS) IPO in 2019.

The IPO is valued at about $6.4 billion and would be the first time an online company offers its shares to its contributors (in this case the Reddit users). This is considered to be different from the traditional IPOs, during which the investors and fund managers, get to kick off the trading on the open market.

In addition, Reddit is expected to price its 22 million shares between $31-$34, and its current investors are expected to sell over 6.7 million shares, hence raising about $208.4 million- $228.6 million. 

While the IPO could potentially bring forth new opportunities for both traders and the company, it is important to keep in mind the fact that it can also be risky. This is because the actual number of shares given to Redditors (Reddit users) is yet to be determined. If, for example, the amount is big enough, Redditors can end up pressuring Reddit’s share price, which, in turn, can lead to significant volatility.

There are other risks involved with this IPO and you can read about them and the possible advantages in our article titled “Reddit’s IPO: All You Need to Know.”

Central Banks Meetings of the Week

Multiple central banks are expected to meet and release their monetary policy decisions this week, with the main ones being as follows:

March 19th: Bank of Japan (BoJ)

March 19th’s BoJ meeting is expected to be crucial as the central bank is projected to reveal whether it will end the eight-year-long cycle of negative interest rates or not. 

If this indeed comes to fruition, many market watchers may be looking for clues as to whether the BoJ will hike rates afterwards.

March 19th: Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)

After maintaining the official cash rate at 4.35% in February, the RBA is expected to adopt a similar stance at this meeting and keep cash rates at the same level. The Australian central bank is also expected to adopt a cautious approach to interest rates with the general anticipations pointing towards upcoming rate cuts in August and November. 

March 20th: Federal Reserve (FOMC)

Following consumer price data that came in above expectations last week, many traders are anticipating the Fed to maintain a hawkish stance for longer, despite the earlier expectations of rate cuts.

March 21st: Bank of England (BoE)

The BoE is expected to lower borrowing costs from their record high since 2008, of 5.25% while taking into account aspects like wage growth and inflation.

Only time will tell what these central banks will decide.

Conclusion

This week is set to be an eventful and interesting one for market watchers and consumers alike. The upcoming central bank meetings can provide a helpful overview of the global economies and can play an important role in shaping the future of the financial markets. In addition, events such as NVIDIA’s AI conference and Reddit’s IPO can be important to investors and can also affect the trajectory of the stock market.


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