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Weekly Market Report

20 Apr 2020

20 April 2020


The Market Last Week

Global equities ended mostly firmer last week, as reports of encouraging clinical trial for a potential drug to treat Covid-19 boosted investor sentiment.

UK Markets ended the week in negative territory, amid drop in oil prices and after the British government extended its lockdown by another 3 weeks.

The BRC retail sales declined in March, registering its sharpest fall since records began in 1995.

The Rightmove house price index advanced on an annual basis in April.

European Markets ended mostly lower in the previous week, on fears over the damage caused to the global economy by the coronavirus pandemic.

Eurozone’s seasonally adjusted industrial production declined less than market expectations on a monthly basis in February.

In the Eurozone, consumer price inflation slowed as initially estimated in March.

Eurozone’s construction output declined on a monthly basis in February.

Germany’s consumer price inflation slowed to a four-month low as estimated in March.

US Markets ended the week in green, after President, Donald Trump, outlined plan to reopen the economy in a three-stage process.

In the US, business inventories dropped as estimated on a monthly basis in February.

The NAHB housing market index eased in April, reaching its lowest level since June 2012.

Industrial production declined in March, marking its biggest monthly decrease since January 1946.

Advance retail sales eased more-than-expected in March.

The NY Empire State manufacturing index fell to a record low in April.

The MBA mortgage applications advanced on a weekly basis in the week ended 10 April 2020.

The US Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index dropped to its lowest level in nearly 40 years in April.

Housing starts declined more than market forecast on monthly basis in March.

Initial jobless claims dropped less than market anticipations on weekly basis in week ended 10 April 2020.

Building permits eased less than market consensus on monthly basis in March.

Fed Chairman, Jerome Powell, in his speech, stated that the US central bank was committed to using all its powers whether forcefully, pro-actively, and aggressively until it believes that the economy is on the road to recovery. Additionally, he believes that despite the sharp slowdown caused by the coronavirus induced lockdown measures the country’s economic recovery could remain robust. He also reiterated that the Fed’s decision to keep borrowing costs low to stabilise the economy and subdue the virus would continue.

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

Japan’s industrial production fell in February.

Japan’s merchandise trade surplus narrowed in March.

In Australia, the Westpac consumer confidence index plummeted in April.

Australia’s consumer inflation expectations climbed in April.

In Australia, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose less than market anticipations in March.

In China, the house price index climbed in March.

China’s GDP growth contracted in the first quarter of 2020, registering its first contraction since the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976.

China reported a trade surplus in March.

In China, retail sales plunged more than market consensus in March.

China’s industrial production eased less than market forecast in March.

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), in latest interest rate decision, lowered its benchmark interest rates by 20 bps to a record low of 3.85% from 4.05%, due to the widespread disruptions across various businesses and activities from the COVID-19 crisis.


Currency Update

The EUR ended lower against the USD last week, as disappointing economic data heightened fears of severe economic slowdwn.
The British Pound ended firmer against the greenback last week, despite British government’s lockdown extension.
The US Dollar ended mostly higher against its major counterparts last week, as dismal economic data stoked fears of deep global recession increasing demand for the safe haven asset.


Fed's Beige Book: US economic activity contracted “sharply and abruptly”

The US Federal Reserve (Fed), in its latest Beige Book, revealed that the US economic activity contracted “sharply and abruptly” across all regions as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The sectors most affected included leisure, retail and hospitality with severe job cuts. Looking ahead, the central bank warned that the near-term outlook was for even more job cuts in the upcoming months.


The Week Ahead

Going ahead this week, investors will keep a tab on the US Chicago Fed National activity index, existing home sales, housing price index, initial jobless claims, Markit manufacturing and services PMIs, new home sales, durable goods orders and the Michigan consumer sentiment index for further direction. Additionally, Eurozone’s trade balance, current account balance, the ZEW economic sentiment index, consumer confidence index, Markit manufacturing and services PMIs along with Germany’s producer price index (PPI), the ZEW economic indices, the GfK consumer confidence index, Ifo indices along with UK’s ILO unemployment rate, CPI, PPI, retail sales, public sector net borrowings, Markit manufacturing and services PMIs would garner significant amount of investor attention.


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