News / Analysis
Finance Update – World Under Coronavirus LockdownMarch 17, 2020
Baring Australia and New Zealand, Asian benchmarks all closed in the red this morning, led by Taiwan’s Weighted Index at -2.86% and followed by the KOSPI’s -2.74% Industrial production in China surprisingly contracted in February by 13.5% and retail sales – 20.5%, following 6.9% and 8% growth respectively in January.
Japan maintained its negative interest rate at -0.1%, while January’s industrial production there grew by 1% – a 2-click uptick from December. The Yen received some tailwind from central banker Haruhiko Kuroda who expressed faith in the economy’s resilience, while promising to ease policy further. New Zealand overnight announced a US$7.3bn stimulus package – 4% of its GDP.
As Germany joins the list of countries finally under lockdown, consumer inflation in Italy is down to 0.3% YoY. European indexes were down in the 4 to5% region yesterday. Chancellor Merkel yesterday told reporters the government was preparing liquidity support plans, as her counterpart, France’s Emmanuel Macron announced the closure of all external EU borders.
Trump’s cash injection did little to impress markets yesterday, the Dow closing down another 3000 points – 13%, and the Nasdaq similarly at 970 points loss. So far, the fall from the February benchmark has been 29.5% – still beyond the 2008 50% loss. And yet, the reaction shows a total erosion of confidence in leadership, as a Gallop poll published yesterday by Reuters shows, in which 60% of Americans expressed concern
Gold yesterday bounced off support at 1450 and seems to have stemmed its fall at 1489, while oil continues its week-long dance in the $29 region as Russia and Saudi Arabia continue their ill-timed price spat. And, finally, Bitcoin continues to trend along the 5k mark, failing to serve as a safe-haven in these days of dire need.
|09:30 AM GMT||UK||Unemployment & earnings|
|10:00 AM GMT||Germany||ZEW Economic Sentiment|
|12:30 PM GMT||US||Retail Sales. Redbook index at 12:55. Industrial Production at 1:15. Business Inventories, Housing market & Job Openings at 2.|
|12:30 PM GMT||Canada||Manufacturing Sales|
|11:30 PM GMT||Australia||Westpac Leading Index|
|11:50 PM GMT||Japan||Merchandise Trade Balance|