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  1. #1271
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    Market Review - Fundamental Perspective - 19 May 2020

    • Asian equities rally on optimism around vaccine trials
    • GBPUSD moves higher following the release of UK employment data
    • UK sets out plan for post-Brexit trade


    Asian equities rallied overnight, following moves higher in European and US markets yesterday on optimism around an early-stage trial of a coronavirus vaccine. The first vaccine to be tested in the US was able to produce protective antibodies in a small group of healthy volunteers. However, experts still predict that a safe and effective vaccine could take 12 - 18 months to develop (Reuters)
    European and US equity index futures tracked broadly flat after US President Trump escalated pressure on the World Health Organisation, calling them ‘a puppet of China’ and demanding ‘major substantive improvements within the next 30 days.’ The escalation could result in his temporary freeze on funding becoming permanent (Bloomberg)
    GBPUSD traded higher yesterday, moving from below 1.2100 to above 1.2200 in the afternoon, erasing most of Friday’s losses. Sterling rallied further this morning after the release of employment data, which was slightly better than expected. Although jobless claims for April increased 856k, the unemployment rate for Q1 came out at 3.9% - better than consensus expectations of 4.3% (Bloomberg)
    In Brexit news, the UK set out its tariff plan for global trade when it fully leaves the EU at the end of this year. The Department for International Trade said in a statement that tariffs will be maintained on agricultural products like beef, lamb and poultry, while items like dishwashers and freezers will be able to enter the UK tariff-free as of 1st January 2021. The 10% tariff on cars will be maintained
    Overall, 60% of total trade will reportedly come in tariff-free under the plan, compared to 47% currently
    Today, focus will be on US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifying before the Senate Banking Committee. Senators are expected to ask him about actions still needed to keep the US economy afloat (Reuters)

  2. #1272
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    Market Review - Fundamental Perspective - 20 May 2020

    • Asian equities mixed as sceptical press report tempers hopes for COVID-19 vaccine
    • UK CPI slowed to -0.2% m/m in April
    • Today’s focus will be on BOE Governor Bailey and the FOMC Minutes for April


    Asian equities and US and European equity futures are trading without direction, as a sceptical press report tempered hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine and as concerns around the global recovery from the pandemic returned. A report from medical news website STAT cast doubt over the encouraging early results of a vaccine trial, saying they lacked detail (Reuters)
    GBPUSD traded higher yesterday, from below 1.2200 to a high of 1.2296 (Bloomberg) following the slightly better than expected employment report. This morning UK CPI data showed that inflation slowed to -0.2% m/m in April – slightly worse than consensus estimates of -0.1% m/m and last month’s 0.0% reading (Bloomberg)
    Today’s focus will be on Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey, who speaks to the Treasury Committee at 14:30 BST
    Also today, we receive the US FOMC meeting minutes from April, at 19:00 BST. Communications after the meeting signalled that policy makers were worried about downside risks and their bias was towards more easing. Although the remarks in the minutes will be dated, Barclays Research believe they should show a committee that remained in risk management mode, not ready to change the forward guidance given the highly uncertain outlook
    Elsewhere, NZD rose overnight against USD following comments from central bank Governor Adrian Orr. He suggested any move to bring interest rates below zero remained some way off, stating that ‘it’s got to be seen to be effective, efficient and operationally capable’ Bloomberg)

  3. #1273
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    Market Review - Fundamental Perspective - 21 May 2020

    • Asian equities trade lower as Trump escalates rhetoric against China
    • Head of CDC warns a second wave of infections in the US is likely
    • BOE Governor confirms that negative rates are ‘under active review’


    Asian equities traded lower overnight, while US and European stock futures fell as Trump escalated rhetoric against China. He suggested that Chinese Premier Xi Jinping is behind ‘a disinformation and propaganda attack on the United States and Europe’ in tweets yesterday. Global coronavirus cases surpassed 5 million on Wednesday, with Latin America overtaking the US and Europe in the last week to report the largest portion of new daily cases globally (Reuters)
    A large number of new cases came from Brazil, which recently surpassed Germany, France and the UK to record the third-largest outbreak in the world, behind the US and Russia
    The head of the US centre for Disease Control and Prevention warned that COVID-19 is likely to flare up again in the US this autumn and winter, raising the possibility of a second round of lockdowns this year. The warning comes despite repeated efforts from President Trump to convince Americans the worst of the pandemic is over (FT)
    The US Federal Reserve meeting minutes for April were released yesterday, and showed that Fed officials saw the pandemic posing ‘an extraordinary amount of uncertainty’ to both the economy and financial stability. The minutes underscored Chair Powell’s assessment that the Government must do more to mitigate the fallout (Bloomberg)
    GBPUSD traded broadly sideways yesterday, and in a tight range between c.1.2220 and c.1.2290, while moving below 1.2200 this morning. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey confirmed that negative rates were ‘under active review’ while interest rates in a gilts auction fell below zero for the first time. This comes just a week after the BoE Chief said he was ‘not planning or contemplating’ negative rates amid the coronavirus crisis (FT)
    Elsewhere, the Central Bank of Turkey meets today. Barclays Research is in line with consensus, expecting a 50bp cut, leaving the benchmark rate at 8.25%. The meeting takes place at 12:00 today

  4. #1274
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    Market Review - Fundamental Perspective - 22 May 2020

    • Asian equities fall amid renewed tensions between China and Hong Kong
    • UK Health Secretary confirms ‘on track’ for 1st June ‘test and trace’ rollout
    • UK posts record budget deficit for April


    Asian equities followed European and US stocks lower overnight, with China’s CSI 300 trading c.2% lower and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng trading c.5% lower. In China, the government abandoned its decades-long practice of setting an annual target for economic growth amid the continued uncertainty. In Hong Kong, concerns over renewed unrest led to the fall in equities, as democracy advocates called for protests against new national security legislation from China (Bloomberg)
    In FX, AUDUSD fell c.0.6% this morning following the resurgence in tensions between China and Hong Kong, while NOK weakened against the Euro, following the fall in oil prices. USDJPY fell c.0.3% after the Bank of Japan left its asset purchase program unchanged at an emergency meeting (Bloomberg)
    GBPUSD traded broadly sideways yesterday, ending the day around 1.2220. Yesterday councils across England said they cannot guarantee that primary schools will reopen on 1st June, the date currently planned by the Government. In the daily press briefing Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the UK was on track for the ‘test and trace’ system to be rolled out across the country on 1st June, following a trial on the Isle of Wight, where it is reportedly working (Reuters)
    UK Retail Sales data was released this morning, and came out worse than expected. Sales declined -18.1% m/m vs. consensus expectations of a -15.5% decline
    The UK also posted a record budget deficit in April, following the unprecedented economic package to prevent the collapse of the economy. The deficit stood at $62.1bn – equivalent to the total bottoming in the whole of the previous fiscal year (Bloomberg)

  5. #1275
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    Market Review - Fundamental Perspective - 26 May 2020

    • Global stocks in the green overnight as lockdown eases
    • AUD and NZD outperform peers on risk on tone
    • USD trades lower for second day in a row


    Global stocks traded higher overnight as optimism grows amid easing of coronavirus lockdowns around the world and as the US’s daily death rate from the coronavirus hovers at its lowest level in about two months, helping investors look past US-China trade tensions for now. Oil prices also traded higher overnight, Brent crude, the international benchmark, up 1.9 per cent at $36.21 a barrel (FT)
    In FX, AUD and NZD outperformed its G10 peers as the slowdown in US cases and the end of a nationwide emergency in Japan helped bolster sentiment. AUDUSD traded c.0.50% stronger trading around a level of 0.6580 and NZDUSD traded c.0.60% stronger to a level of 0.6138. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slid c.0.3% lower overnight amid the risk on tone (Bloomberg)
    GBPUSD traded higher amid broad-based USD weakness, trading around 1.2240. Barclays Research think near-term GBP positivity from data and sentiment are largely priced in, and the pound should resume its downtrend as both the risks of a Brexit accident at the end of the year and negative BoE rates continue to rise
    EURUSD rose c.0.25% to 1.0930 overnight, breaking Monday’s high, partially helped by comments from Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau who signaled that he would like to see limits on the 750 billion-euro plan loosened even more (Bloomberg). Barclays Research expect the optimism to fade into the EU27 meeting as a lot of uncertainty remains regarding its passage

  6. #1276
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    Market Review - Fundamental Perspective - 27 May 2020

    · Asian stocks mixed amid US-China tensions
    · USD touched lowest level since mid-March yesterday
    · The EU meets today to discuss the recovery plan

    Asian stocks traded mixed overnight amid rising US-China tensions and as Hong Kong braced for new anti-government protests against China’s national security law. There have been headlines around the US considering sanctions against China as a penalty for the national security law they are looking to impose on Hong Kong (FT)
    The oil price pulled back overnight after rallying the day before, Brent Crude traded more than 1% lower trading around 35.72 (Bloomberg)
    In FX, the USD weakened yesterday amid improved risk sentiment following the announcements of more reopening plans while Covid-19 infection rates continue to drop, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell c.0.80%, to 1231.71 its lowest since March 16. Commodity currencies traded lower amid the increasing US-China tensions and drop in oil price (Bloomberg)
    GBPUSD traded higher yesterday amid broad-based USD weakness and positive headlines around the UK re-opening some stores and markets from 1st June. The pair touched a high of 1.2363, the highest level since 12th May (Bloomberg)
    Today the EU member states will discuss the Coronavirus recovery plan. Last week Merkel and Macron suggested a EU500bn Coronavirus recovery plan, intended to be used as grants to areas most affected by the virus, and paid for by EU budget with increased payments made by member states
    Sweden said yesterday it won’t support the plan as it was proposed whilst also signalling willingness to discuss this further with other members states. Also over the weekend Austria, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherland countered a joint proposal by France and Germany for a 500 billion-euro fund by suggesting aid in the form of loans, not grants (Bloomberg)

  7. #1277
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    Market Review - Fundamental Perspective - 28 May 2020

    • US states they no longer view Hong Kong as independent
    • Governor Bailey said the bank is ready to do more
    • EU Commission proposed a €750 billion stimulus package


    Asian stocks mixed overnight with Hong Kong stocks falling c.1.4% after US secretary of state Mike Pompeo stated that the US no longer view the city as autonomous from mainland China. China is expected to pass a motion to begin drafting the security law on Thursday. Elsewhere in Asia stocks performed well on the back of strong performance on Wall Street yesterday (FT)
    In FX, AUD and NZD traded lower versus its G10 peers amid escalation of US-China trade tensions, AUDUSD traded c.0.50% lower touching a low of 0.6568 and NZDUSD traded down to 0.6150 yesterday. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose following the comments from Pompeo, ending the day c.0.1% after it rose as much as 0.5% touching 1238.90
    EURCHF traded higher yesterday, touching 1.0698, a level not seen since the beginning of March. Following comments from Swiss National Bank President Thomas Jordan who said the central bank is intervening more heavily in the foreign-exchange market to weaken the franc and can further cut interest rates, if a cost-benefit analysis warrants such a step (Bloomberg)
    GBPUSD traded c.0.60% lower yesterday, touching a low of 1.2206 amid concerns around the next round of negotiations between the UK and the EU as well as comments from Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey. Bailey wrote in a Guardian op-ed that the central bank is ready to do more and that risks are to the downside for a longer, hard recovery (Bloomberg)
    EURUSD traded as much as 0.50% higher after the EU Commission proposed a new fiscal stimulus package of as much as €750 billion, of which €500 billion will be distributed in the form of grants and €250 billion will be available in loans. The EU plans on borrowing the funds from financial markets (Bloomberg)

  8. #1278
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    Market Review - Fundamental Perspective - 29 May 2020

    • The market awaits Trumps press conference on China today
    • China approved Hong Kong Security Legislation yesterday
    • EURUSD continues higher reaching end of March levels


    Global stocks traded lower as the market awaits the US response to China passing security legislation for Hong Kong. President Trump who has promised a tough response to this, has said he will hold a press conference on China later today. Concerns around increased tensions between US and China pushed US treasuries higher and the oil price lower, Brent crude touched $33.17 overnight (FT)
    Also weighing on risk sentiment was a vote yesterday from the US House of Representatives to sanction Chinese officials responsible for the oppression of Uighur Muslims. The bill now heads to the White House for President Trump to sign into law (Reuters)
    In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index traded lower yesterday amid improved risk sentiment as jobless claims dropped for the first time during the pandemic, the index traded c.0.45% lower touching 1228.94. Overnight the Japanese Yen rose against it peers amid concerns ahead of Trumps press conference, USDJPY touched a low of 107.09 (Bloomberg)
    GBPUSD traded c.0.65% higher yesterday and overnight amid broad-based USD weakness, the pair reached a high of 1.2358. However the pound was little unchanged versus the EUR as Brexit-related risks and speculation about negative interest rates from the BoE continue to dampen the pound’s gains (Reuters)
    EURUSD continues to trade higher as the EU unveiled a EUR 2.4 trillion 7-year recovery plan, including the EUR 750 billion of joint debt issuance. The plan needs approval from all the 27 EU countries, whose leaders will meet on 19th June. The currency pair traded c.0.85% higher yesterday and overnight, touching a high of 1.1111 – a level not seen since the end of March (Bloomberg)

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