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Financial markets in free-fall

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • Financial markets remained in risk off mode ahead of a weekend that was likely to bring more bad news on the coronavirus epidemic. The mood in Japan wasn’t helped by some weak domestic spending figures, as well a fall in the Cabinet Office’s leading index to its lowest since the Global Financial Crisis.

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Coronavirus concerns continue to weigh

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • While the Fed’s emergency 50bp rate cut yesterday failed to excite investors, the relatively strong performance of Joe Biden in last night’s primaries gave Asian equities a boost. February’s final services PMIs are due from the major economies, along with the US non-manufacturing ISM, but these will reflect increasing concerns associated to the coronavirus to varying degrees.

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RBA rate cut shows the way

Chris Scicluna
Emily Nicol
  • Following the ECB's late-night statement on its response to the coronavirus and ahead of a call between G7 finance ministers and central bank governors, the RBA cut its cash rate by 25bps to a record low 0.25%. 

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Central banks attempt to calm concerns

Chris Scicluna
Emily Nicol
  • Announcements from the Fed, BoJ and BoE appeared to temporarily appease financial markets. So despite some dire Chinese PMIs, which plummeted to the lowest on record, Asian equities started the week on the front foot. 

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Market rout continues

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • As concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus continued to mount, global equities nosedived and major sovereign bonds again rallied hard. And given the likely significant impact to global growth, expectations for coordinated monetary policy action are starting to rise.

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