Global equities ended sharply lower last week, as the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic outpaced the massive stimulus measures by policymakers worldwide.
UK Markets ended the week in negative territory, amid fears that the coronavirus outbreak would severely hurt corporate earnings.
Average earnings including bonus advanced in the three months to January.
Public sector net borrowing unexpectedly posted a surplus in February.
The ILO unemployment rate unexpectedly rose in the three months to January.
Consumer inflation expectations declined on an annual basis in February.
European Markets ended the week on a negative footing, as most of the regions in Europe went into shutdown mode to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
Eurozone’s ZEW survey economic sentiment index declined in March.
In the Eurozone, seasonally adjusted current account surplus widened less-than-expected in February.
Eurozone’s seasonally adjusted trade surplus unexpectedly narrowed in January.
Consumer price inflation in the Eurozone slowed as initially estimated in February.
Eurozone’s seasonally adjusted construction output rebounded on a monthly basis in January.
Germany’s producer price index (PPI) unexpectedly eased on an annual basis in February.
The ZEW survey current situation in Germany index dropped in March.
German ZEW survey economic sentiment index fell to its lowest level since 2008 financial crisis in March.
The flash Ifo current assessment index in Germany slid in March.
Germany’s preliminary Ifo business climate index sharply dropped to its lowest level since August 2009 in March.
The preliminary Ifo business expectations index in Germany declined in March.
US Markets ended the week in red, as growing concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak stoked fears of a coronavirus-driven recession.
The US Empire State manufacturing index declined to its lowest level since 2009 in March.
Retail sales unexpectedly declined on a monthly basis in February.
Business inventories slid in January, in line with market forecast.
The NAHB housing market index dropped in March.
Industrial production rebounded on a monthly basis in February.
The JOLTS job openings unexpectedly rose in January.
Current account deficit narrowed less than market forecast in 4Q19.
The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index unexpectedly eased in March, hitting its lowest level since summer 2012.
The MBA mortgage applications declined on a weekly basis in the week ended 13 March 2020.
Building permits declined more-than-expected in February.
Housing starts dropped less than market forecast on a monthly basis in February.
Existing home sales climbed to its highest level in 13 years in February.
Initial jobless claims advanced to its highest level in 2.5 years on a weekly basis in the week ended 13 March 2020.
Asian Markets ended weaker last week, as mounting concerns over the economic impact of the global coronavirus outbreak continued to weigh on investor sentiment.
China’s house price index rose in February.
Industrial production declined on a yearly basis in February.
China’s retail sales plunged on an annual basis in February.
Australia’s house price index advanced on a quarterly basis in 4Q19.
Australia’s Westpac leading index declined in February.
Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Australia unexpectedly dropped in February.
Japan’s industrial prdcution rose less than market expectations in January.
The consumer price index (CPI) in Japan rose less than market forecast on an annual basis in February.
Japan posted a trade surplus in February.
In Australia, the Westpac consumer confidence index dropped in 1Q20.
The Bank of Japan (BoJ), in its latest monetary policy meeting, kept its key interest rate unchanged at -0.10%, as widely expected. However, the central bank announced that it would expand its stock purchases, bonds, other assets and provide zero interest one-year loans to companies running short of cash, to combat the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Additionally, the BoJ Governor, Haruhiko Kuroda, stated that the central bank would closely monitor the impact of COVID-19 and would not hesitate to take additional easing measures, if necessary.
The BoJ, in its monetary policy meeting minutes, revealed that most members agreed that it was appropriate to continue with the current monetary easing policy, in wake of the coronavirus outbreak. However, one official suggested that negative rate could affect investor sentiment by making households, firms more pessimistic about economic outlook. Meanwhile, a policymaker cautioned that the central bank must brace for the risk of another recession by strengthening cooperation with the government's fiscal policy.
The People's Bank of China (PBoC), in its interest rate decision, unexpectedly kept its key interest rate unchanged at 4.05% and kept the five-year rate unchanged at 4.75%.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), in its latest interest rate decision, slashed its key interest rate by 25bps to 0.25% to curb the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Further, the central bank stated that it would purchase government bonds in the secondary market and keep the yield on 3-year bonds at around 0.25%.
Minutes of the RBA's latest meeting signalled that the policymakers are prepared to ease monetary policy further to support Australia’s economy. Moreover, board members indicated that the coronavirus would have significantly affected the country’s national finances and that a near term containment of the virus was considered “very unlikely”. Meanwhile, the central bank expects first quarter growth to be noticeably weaker than previously anticipated.