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Asian sentiment stabilises as Japan plays catch up

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna

While Japanese markets had to play catch up after yesterday's national holiday, sentiment in most Asian markets stabilised today despite a plunge in Korean consumer confidence. With the day ahead light on new top-tier economic data, the coronavirus newsflow will clearly dictate how markets evolve in European and US time.

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Risk evaporates on Italian virus spread

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • At the start of the week, risk appetite was in short supply as investors responded to the weekend’s accelerated spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in South Korea and Italy. Over coming days, ECB policymakers will likely repeat calls for euro area governments to prepare a coordinated fiscal policy response to guard against downside risks.

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Dire Japanese PMIs depict downside risks

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • A marked deterioration in the Japanese PMIs illustrated the widespread downside risks to the economic outlook as supply and demand in the region continues to be impacted by the coronavirus. 

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Aussie jobless rate rises

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna

Chinese stocks rebounded as the number of new coronavirus cases in Hubei fell sharply and the PBoC confirmed a 10bp cut in the benchmark 1Y loan prime rate. But other Asian equity indices were mixed while the yen slid again and the dollar continued to appreciate. A rise in the Aussie unemployment rate provided a reminder why an RBA rate cut remains possible this year. 

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Japanese exports and orders disappoint (again)

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • Japan's trade and machine orders data suggested a soft start to the year for economic activity. And while Australia's wage and vacancy figures were mixed, a government report suggested that the agricultural sector could weigh more heavily on economic growth this year than previously thought. 

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