With the markets still buzzing over the deep rate cut by the Federal Reserve, investors will be keeping an eye on theECBpolicy meeting this week. Well also get a look at eurozone GDP and German inflation. The UK will release monthly GDP and the annual budget, while the U.S. publishesconsumer inflationreports.
Australias central bank wasted no time in following the Federal Reserves lead, as the bank trimmed rates by 0.25%, lowering the benchmark rate to 0.50%. TheAussieactually gained ground after the move, as investors were pleased to see that central banks were coordinating their moves in response to the coronavirus crisis. GDP improved to 0.5% in Q4, up from 0.4% in the third quarter. The Bank of Canada also cut rates by 0.50%, lowering rates to 1.25%.
In the U.S., the Federal Reserve shocked the markets with a dramatic rate cut. The Fed slashed rates by 0.50%, which was the first cut between meetings since 2008. At a press conference, Fed Chair Powell acknowledged the severity of the coronavirus threat and added that he expected the rate cut to boost the U.S. economy. The week wrapped up with sharp employment data. Nonfarm payrolls sparkled, climbing to 273 thousand in February, up from 225 thousand.
: Wednesday, 9:30. This GDP release is published every month. In December, the economy rebounded with a gain of 0.3%, after a decline of 0.3% a month earlier. The reading edged above the estimate of 0.2%. Analysts are projecting a smaller gain of 0.2% in January.
: Wednesday, 11:30. The brand new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, will present the new UK budget. This event, also known as the Spring Statement, will consist of new forecasts for the economy. With the markets in turmoil over the coronavirus crisis, any downgrade could spook investors and hurt the pound.
: Tuesday, 10:00 Economic conditions in the eurozone remains weak, with growth of just 0.2% in the past two quarters. The estimate for Q4 stands at 0.1%.
: Wednesday, 12:30. Consumer inflation remains weak, as the paltry gain of 0.1% in January was the weakest reading since September. The downtrend is expected to continue, with a forecast of 0.0% for February.
: Thursday, 12:45. The ECB has been content to keep interest rates at zero since 2016 and no change is expected at the upcoming meeting. A dovish rate statement could put pressure on the euro.
: Friday, 7:00. Consumer inflation in the eurozones largest economy remains weak, as CPI has posted two declines in the past three readings. The January reading came in at -0.6%. Analysts expect a stronger showing in February, with an estimate of 0.4%.
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EUR/USD is trading above 1.14 after nearing 1.15, the highest since January 2019. Fears of an outright recession have gripped markets as coronavirus continues spreading and investors are panicking. The whole US yields curve is below 1%, weighing on the dollar.
GBP/USD is trading around 1.31, a five-week high as investors flock into the safety of US debt, pushing yields and the dollar down. Coronavirus fears are growing.
Markets are panicking with wild moves across the board, including flash crashes. Investors are increasingly worried about the spread of coronavirus and its impact on the global economy.
The selling interest in the US oil (WTI futures on Nymex) remains unabated on this Black Monday, as the rates briefly dip below the 28 handle, in a sell-off that gathered pace on a breach of $30 mark – the psychological level.
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