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Weekly Market Report

18 May 2020

18 May 2020

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The Market Last Week

Global equities ended lower last week, amid escalating tensions between the US and China and concerns of a potential second wave of the coronavirus infections.


UK Markets ended the week in negative territory, after Britain’s economy shrank in the first quarter and amid renewed concerns over Brexit.

UK’s flash gross domestic product (GDP) slid in 1Q20, recording its fastest contraction since the 2008 financial crisis.

Total trade deficit widened in March.

The NIESR GDP estimate declined in April.

Manufacturing production dropped less-than-anticipated in March.

Industrial production dropped less than market expectations in March.

The RICS house price index fell less than market forecast in April.

UK’s BRC retail sales unexpectedly advanced on an annual basis in April.




European Markets ended the week on a negative footing, as disappointing economic data across the region fuelled concerns of a deep economic recession.

Eurozone’s GDP fell on a quarterly basis in 1Q20, marking its biggest fall since the series started in 1995.

In the Eurozone, seasonally adjusted trade surplus narrowed in March.

Eurozone’s seasonally adjusted industrial production slid in March, registering its sharpest decline since records started in 1991.

Germany’s preliminary GDP dropped at par with market consensus on a quarterly basis in 1Q20, registering its sharpest decline since the first quarter of 2009.

In Germany, the producer price index (PPI) declined more than market forecast in April.

Germany’s consumer price inflation slowed in April, marking its lowest level since November 2016.




US Markets ended the week in red, after the US Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman, Jerome Powell warned that the US may face a “prolonged recession” caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

US business inventories dropped at par with market expectations on a monthly basis in March.

Retail sales plunged more-than-expected in April.

Industrial production fell less than market anticipations in April.

The flash Michigan consumer sentiment index unexpectedly advanced in May.

The NY Empire State manufacturing index rebounded in May.

In the US, seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims dropped less-than-anticipated on a weekly basis in the week ended 08 May 2020.

The PPI fell on an annual basis in April, recording its biggest drop since November 2015.

The MBA mortgage applications advanced on a weekly basis in the week ended 08 May 2020.

The US consumer price index (CPI) declined on a monthly basis in April, marking its largest decline since December 2008.

The NFIB small business optimism index unexpectedly declined in April.

US budget deficit widened less-than-anticipated in April.




Asian Markets ended weaker last week, amid concerns about the economic damage caused by the Covid-19 outbreak and ongoing US-China trade turmoil.

China’s house price index advanced in April.

In China, industrial production rose more than market expectations on an annual basis in April.

China’s retail sales dropped more than market forecast in April.

China’s consumer price inflation slowed in April.

In China, the PPI declined more than market consensus in April.

Australia’s consumer inflation expectations rose in May.

Australia’s unemployment rate climbed in April, hitting its highest level since September 2015.

In Australia, the Westpac consumer confidence index rebounded in May.

Australia’s NAB business confidence index improved in April.

In Australia, the NAB business conditions index dropped in April.

In Japan, GDP declined less-than-expected on a quarterly basis in 1Q20.

Japan’s PPI dropped more than market anticipations on an annual basis in April.

In Japan, non-seasonally adjusted current account surplus narrowed more than market consensus in March.

Japan’s preliminary coincident index unexpectedly dropped in March.

In Japan, the leading economic index unexpectedly fell in March.




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Currency Update

The EUR ended mostly lower against the USD last week, following dismal economic data and as rapid increase in new coronavirus cases in Germany raised fears of a potential second wave of coronavirus infections.

The British Pound ended weaker against the greenback last week, as UK-EU Brexit talks deadlocked and amid lack of clarity over UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s plan to ease the nationwide lockdown.

The US Dollar ended stronger against its major counterparts last week, as investors shrugged off weak US economic data.


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Jerome Powell warns of a “prolonged recession and weak recovery”

Fed Chairman, Jerome Powell, in his speech warned that the coronavirus crisis could result in a “prolonged recession and weak recovery” thereby causing a lasting economic damage. Further, he warned of “significant downside risks” to the economic outlook. Moreover, Powell stated that the central bank may take additional steps to boost economic recovery, but it does not favour using negative interest rates as a policy tool.


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The Week Ahead

Going ahead this week, investors will keep a tab on Fed Chairman, Jerome Powell’s testimony, FOMC minutes, building permits, housing starts, initial jobless claims, existing home sales, the Markit manufacturing and services PMIs for further direction. Additionally, Eurozone’s ZEW economic sentiment index, the CPI, the Markit manufacturing and services PMIs along with Germany’s ZEW survey indices, the Markit manufacturing and services PMIs will keep investors on their toes. Also, UK’s ILO unemployment rate, average earnings including bonus, the CPI, the retail price index, the PPI, the Markit manufacturing and services PMIs, would garner significant amount of investor attention.


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