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Weekly Market Report

14 Apr 2020

14 April 2020


The Market Last Week

Global equities ended higher last week, amid hopes that the coronavirus outbreak may stabilise soon.

UK Markets ended the week in positive territory, amid signs of slowdown in coronavirus related deaths in the hotspots of western Europe.

UK’s industrial production rose in line with market forecast on a monthly basis in February.

Manufacturing production climbed more-than-anticipated on a monthly basis in February.

Gross domestic product (GDP) unexpectedly declined on a monthly basis in February.

The Markit construction PMI fell to its lowest level since April 2009 in March.

The RICS housing price balance fell more than market expectations in March.

The Halifax house price index remained flat on a monthly basis in March.

The NIESR GDP estimate dropped in the three months to March.

UK reported a total trade deficit in February.

European Markets ended the week on a positive footing, amid slowdown in coronavirus cases in Europe.

Eurozone’s Sentix investor confidence index deteriorated to a record low in April.

Germany’s seasonally adjusted factory orders dropped less-than-expected on a monthly basis in February.

Seasonally adjusted industrial production in Germany unexpectedly advanced on a monthly basis in February.

Germany’s trade surplus unexpectedly widened in February.

Current account in Germany surplus widened in February.

US Markets ended the week in green, after the US Federal Reserve (Fed) announced additional stimulus package worth $2.3 trillion to support the economy.

The US JOLTS job openings fell less than market forecast in February.

Consumer credit recorded a rise in February.

The producer price index (PPI) climbed more than market forecast in March.

Monthly budget deficit narrowed more than market expectations in March.

Consumer price inflation slowed on a yearly basis in March.

Initial jobless claims dropped less-than-anticipated in the week ended 3 April 2020.

The MBA mortgage applications dropped on weekly basis in the week ended 3 April 2020.

The Michigan consumer sentiment index dropped to its lowest level since 2011 in April.

Asian Markets ended firmer last week, tracking gains in their US counterparts.

Japan’s coincident index unexpectedly advanced in February.

Current account surplus in Japan widened in February.

Japan reported a trade surplus in February.

The leading economic index in Japan unexpectedly rose in February.

Japan’s household spending declined less than market consensus on an annual basis in February.

The consumer confidence index in Japan dropped in March.

Japan’s PPI declined more-than-expected on a yearly basis in March.

Australia’s home loan approvals declined on a monthly basis in February.

Australia’s NAB business confidence index unexpectedly declined in March.

Trade surplus in Australia narrowed in February.

China’s consumer price index (CPI) rose less than market expectations on an annual basis in March.

The PPI in China declined more-than-anticipated on a yearly basis in March.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), in its latest monetary policy decision, held its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.25%, as widely expected. However, the central bank warned that it expects the economy to register a “very large” contraction in the second quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement following the interest rate decision, RBA Governor, Philip Lowe, stated that the central bank will not increase the cash rate target until progress is being made towards the goals for full employment and inflation target range of 2%-3%.

Bank of Japan (BoJ) Governor, Haruhiko Kuroda, warned that uncertainty over the country’s economic outlook was “extremely high” with corporate funding strains worsening. Moreover, he stated that the coronavirus outbreak is having a “serious impact” on the Japanese economy. Also, he stated that the central bank would take additional easing measures without hesitation if necessary.


Currency Update

The EUR ended firmer against the USD last week, after Eurozone’s finance ministers agreed on a €500 billion stimulus plan.
The British Pound ended stronger against the greenback last week, amid news that British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s condition was stable after being admitted to an intensive care unit due to persistent coronavirus symptoms.
The US Dollar ended weaker against its major counterparts last week, amid hopes that lockdown measures may be slowing the spread of coronavirus in some countries reducing demand for the safe haven currency.


Fed minutes highlight concerns over coronavirus disruptions to economy

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), in its March meeting minutes, indicated that all members believed that the near-term US economic outlook has deteriorated sharply in recent weeks. Also, members expressed concern about the economic impact of COVID-19. In terms of the economic outlook, the Fed stated that interest rates would remain at their current level until the US economy has weathered the coronavirus downturn.


The Week Ahead

Going ahead this week, investors will keep a tab on the US Fed Beige Book, the US retail sales, industrial production, the MBA mortgage applications, the NAHB housing market index, housing starts, building permits for further direction. Additionally, Eurozone’s industrial production, CPI, construction output and Germany’s CPI will be on investors’ radar.


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