SHANGHAI, Mar 23 (SMM) – This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last weekend and what is expected in the day ahead.
The US dollar returned towards a three-year peak against a basket of currencies on Friday, after a pull-back earlier in the day. The greenback enjoyed its strongest week since the financial crisis last week as a global scramble for funding sent other currencies reeling.
US stocks closed lower on Friday, posting another bruising week, as panic over the coronavirus outbreak refused to abate, while US oil prices notched their worst week since 1991.
On Sunday evening US time, a massive funding package to combat the impact of coronavirus did not get enough votes in a key Senate procedural vote, which pulled US stocks and oil prices lower.
US President Donald Trump, however, was decidedly optimistic in a coronavirus task force press briefing that was unfolding as senators voted. “I think you’ll get there,” he said.
London base metals reversed earlier gains to close mostly lower on Friday. Aluminium plunged 3.2% on the day to lead the losses, copper tumbled 2.3%, tin fell 1.1%, lead shed 0.2% and zinc edged down less than 0.1%. Nickel gained 0.3%. The Shanghai Futures Exchange kept its night trading session suspended.
The global coronavirus outbreak continues to spread rapidly across the world, with the number of infected now over 294,000 and more than 12,900 lives taken, according to data from the World Health Organization.
China’s loan prime rates (LPR) on Friday were kept unchanged from their February levels, with both the 1-year and 5-year LPR left steady at 4.05% and 4.75%, respectively.
Data published Friday showed US home sales surged to a 13-year high in February. The National Association of Realtors said that home sales jumped 6.5% in February from the previous month, to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.77 million. The report covers contracts that were signed in December and January, with closings in February, before the highly contagious virus swept through the country, severely disrupting economic activity.
According to the Federal Statistical Office, Germany’s producer price index (PPI) contracted by 0.4% versus the expected 0.1% decline.
Economic data slated for release today include the eurozone’s consumer sentiment index for March.