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Macro Roundup (Apr 20)
Apr 20, 2020 08:37CST
The US dollar edged lower last Friday as investors regained some appetite for risk after news about President Donald Trump's plan to reopen the economy

SHANGHAI, Apr 20 (SMM) – This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last weekend and what is expected in the day ahead. 

The US dollar edged lower last Friday as investors regained some appetite for risk following news about President Donald Trump's plan to reopen the economy.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies, shed 0.36% on Friday and ended at 99.71, 0.22% higher on the week. 

Market sentiment was also bolstered by a media report detailing encouraging partial data from experimental drug trials on severely ill COVID-19 patients at a University of Chicago hospital.

Mr Trump on last Thursday unveiled guidelines for a phased reopening of parts of the US economy disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


LME base metals traded mostly higher last Friday, with nickel leading the gains and adding 2.64%. Copper advanced 1.83%, zinc increased 0.98%, tin climbed 0.7%, while aluminium shed 0.53% and lead slipped 0.8%. 


SHFE nonferrous metals also posted strong performance. Aluminium advanced 3.2% and registered its best week since August 2017. Nickel surged 2.7%, tin jumped 2.1%, copper climbed 1.9%, zinc rose 1.3%, and lead increased 0.5%.

On the data front, China’s first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 6.8% in 2020 from a year ago as the world’s second-largest economy took a hit from the COVID-19 outbreak, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. 

The Q1 contraction compared to an expected drop of 6% and marked the first decline since at least 1992, when official quarterly GDP records started.

More than half of China was placed on lockdown in late January and early February as an effort to slow the spread of the virus. While most industrial enterprises have resumed work, business activity has still not returned back to normal, especially in the services industries, and the spread of the virus overseas has led to a slump in demand for China’s exports.

"China is facing tremendous pressure amid increasing uncertainties and instabilities from the coronavirus outbreak", Mao Shengyong, a spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics, said Friday at a press conference. He added that the country is also facing new difficulties and challenges in resuming work and production.

Separate data showed China's industrial output falling by a less-than-expected 1.1% in March from a year earlier. Retail sales dipped 15.8% in the same period. Fixed asset investment shrank 16.1% in January-March.

China's urban jobless rate was at 5.9% in March, down from 6.2% in February.

Beijing has loosened monetary policy to help free up the flow of credit to the economy, and has pledged to take more steps to combat the impact of the epidemic.

For March, eurozone consumer price index (CPI) came in at 0.7%, while the core reading showed a gain of 1%. This confirmed the initial readings.

Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active US rigs drilling for oil dropped by 66 to 438 in the week ended April 17. That marked a fifth straight weekly decline. 

The total active US rig count, meanwhile, also declined by 73 to 529, according to Baker Hughes.




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