Markets Now: Virus contagion eases, stocks hit new highs


The markets are continuing to discount the influence of the coronavirus.


Today’s podcast

Overview: Like a prayer

  • CoVID-19 fears lessen as the quantity of new deaths and situations appears to decelerate
  • Optimism back: equities up (S&ampP500 +.five%) yields up (US 10yr +three.1bps) oil up (WTI +three.%)
  • USD ascendency continues with DXY +.two% and at a new 2020 higher EUR now at 2017 lows
  • NZD rocketed 1.% yesterday AUD caught in the slipstream with AUD/USD +.three%
  • Coming up: RBA’s Lowe, RBNZ’s Orr, US CPI, Fed-nominee hearings, Fed’s Williams

CoVID-19 fears are beginning to lessen as the quantity of new deaths and situations decelerate. For markets, the improvement has come “like a tiny prayer” that has been answered and danger sentiment continues to strengthen. Equities are up with the S&ampP500 +.five% to three,378 and hitting a new record higher. Yields have crept greater with US 10yr yields +three.1bps to 1.63%, even though pricing for Fed price cuts remains at about 1.four price cuts by the finish of 2020. Commodities are also becoming buoyed with WTI +three.% regardless of OPEC slashing forecast oil demand, when Iron Ore futures are up two.six%.


Continued EUR weakness (-.five%) has noticed the Euro hit its lowest level because Might 2017 with woeful industrial production figures not assisting. The USD (DXY) in contrast reached a new 2020 higher, up .two% to 99.028. The greatest G10 mover was the NZD yesterday just after the RBNZ removed its easing bias, with NZD holding its gains overnight to be +1.% to .6462. The AUD also rode the kiwi slipstream to be +.three% and at present trading at .6735, even though AUD/NZD did fall .five% to 1.0424. Constant with a superior danger tone, USD/JPY rose +.two% to 110.08, when the Loonie appreciated (USD/CAD -.two%) helped along by the greater oil value.

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Very first to CoVID-19 headlines

Yesterday saw the quantity of new situations decelerate for the second time in a row, when in Hubei new situations have fallen for an eight day in a row. That could imply the virus is beginning to peak in China with containment efforts operating, even though it is nonetheless really early and the WHO are urging “extreme caution”. Also encouraging is that there seems to be tiny proof of sustained virus transmission outdoors of China. China is also aiming to get back to perform with extra reports of comprehensive stimulus measures becoming lined up.

The NZD surged yesterday, +1.% to .6461 just after the RBNZ meeting which saw its easing bias removed. As my BNZ colleagues note, when prices had been unchanged, the projected OCR path was raised by 20bps, when the Statement also noted “Employment is at or slightly above its maximum sustainable level” (a shift from November’s “employment remains about its maximum sustainable level”). As for CoVID-19 fears, it was assumed to be of a quick duration with containment by the finish of February 2020 with travel disruption to ease from March. Industry pricing for a price reduce by the finish of 2020 was sharply pared to a 16% possibility from 75%, when we continue to see the RBNZ on hold till the 1st quarter of 2022.

AUD rode the kiwi slipstream with AUD/USD +.three% and opening trade at .6735. AUD/NZD even though did decline, -.five% to 1.0427. With tiny Australian information on the horizon, the AUD will continue to be buffeted by CoVID-19 headlines which are cautiously on the optimistic side. CNH also seems to be stabilising and holding under the “7 level” (at present six.9731) with the believed that the Chinese authorities are at least wanting a single steady anchor point offered the uncertainties more than the virus.    

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European information flow continues its awful run with industrial production weaker than anticipated at -four.1% y/y against -two.five% anticipated. The marketplace was currently geared up for a undesirable quantity just after the really soft readings from Germany and France earlier in the week. Importantly even though the weakness was broad-primarily based across most nations except for Greece (Greece was +two.five% m/m). The weak figures recommend that Q4 GDP will be revised down right now to flat from an initial study of .1% q/q.

For the ECB

A dovish tilt is hunting extra probably at the March meeting and an MNI sources piece earlier in the week notes a single official: “a handful of weeks ago, prior to the virus outbreak, I would have mentioned that the policy outlook remained unchanged….but now the image has changed. We just want to effectively weigh up to what degree”. Germany also is reasonably extra exposed to China with goods exports to China generating up two.7% of GDP compared to the US at .eight%. Its no surprise to see EUR -.five% to 1.0868 and is at its lowest level because Might 2017.   

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The Riksbank met overnight and in its 1st unanimous selection for a when kept prices on hold, when downgrading its 2020 inflation forecast. Importantly the forecast repo price trajectory was unchanged from the prior meeting. The krona liked it with EURSEK -.three% to 10.4812.

Coming up

Lots of concentrate on monetary policy with RBA Governor Lowe speaking on a panel and RBNZ Governor Orr speaking to Parliament. The central bank concentrate continues in the US with Fed-nominee hearings probably on the dovish side and the Fed’s Kaplan and Williams also speak. Datawise the US CPI is the most marketplace moving occasion, when Europe’s most up-to-date forecasts might garner some focus.

  • AU: Inflation Expectations (11.00am AEDT): not marketplace moving, even though final month saw a substantial rise in inflation expectations.
  • AU: RBA Governor Lowe (11.15am AEDT): Governor Lowe is on a panel at the Australia-Canada Financial Leadership Forum.
  • AU: RBNZ Governor Orr (eight.10am regional, 1.00pm AEDT): Governor Orr speaks to Parliament on yesterday’s RBNZ selection and the MPS.
  • GE: Final-CPI (eight.00am regional, six.00pm AEDT): unlikely to be marketplace moving, anticipated to be unrevised at 1.six% y/y.
  • EU: EC Forecasts (11.00am regional, 9.00pm AEDT): unlikely to be marketplace moving, EU-wide financial forecast are published by the European Commission.
  • US: CPI/Jobless Claims (eight.30am regional, 12.30am AEDT): core-CPI is anticipated to be two.two% y/y.
  • US: Fed-nominee hearings (10.00am regional, two.00am AEDT): Trump’s most up-to-date nominees Waller and Shelton seem prior to a Senate panel. Each are probably to be dovish. Speaking separately are also Kaplan and Williams.

Industry costs

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