Marketmind-Bank Calm, Rates Firm, Alibaba Steals Show

 A preview of the upcoming day's trading in the US and abroad from Mike Dolan.

When the banking tempest subsided and attention shifted to a six-way restructuring of Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, the international markets began to show signs of calm in the final week of the first quarter.

Shares of the Jack Ma-founded company and its competitors rose as a result of investors applauding Alibaba's unexpected action as evidence that Beijing's corporate crackdown may be about to come to an end.

The group's shares increased as much as 16.3% on Wednesday in Hong Kong, following a 14.3% increase in its shares listed on the US stock exchange overnight, and driving the benchmark Hang Seng Index up more than 2%.

The new focus provided some relief from weeks of banking stress, which seemed to lessen this week as regulators in the US and Europe joined forces and declared no systemic issues were found while they looked into why the failures initially occurred without any intervention.

Tuesday saw minimal movement in the KBW U.S. regional banking index, while First Citizens BancShares shares increased by another percentage point after a day of 50% gains due to the company's announcement that it would be buying the deposits and loans of the failed Silicon Valley Bank.

Wednesday's banking news in Europe focused on a management shift at UBS. The Swiss bank's stock increased 2.2% as a result of Sergio Ermotti's rehiring as CEO to oversee its large acquisition of failing rival Credit Suisse.

The unexpected action aims to benefit from Ermotti's expertise in reestablishing the bank following the global financial crisis 15 years ago. Bank indexes in Europe increased 1%.

With bank executives under scrutiny, the revelation that JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon will be questioned under oath in May regarding the bank's connections with late sex offender and former client Jeffrey Epstein sparked attention.

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