The risk sentiment was battered once again in Asia, as investors fretted over the rise in the number of new coronavirus cases across the globe, especially in the US, Italy and Japan. More so, doubts over the effectiveness of the proposed US economic stimulus-response to tackle the virus outbreak killed the appetite for the risk/ higher-yielding assets, as a flight to safety emerged as the dominant theme.
The US Treasuries, therefore, witnessed heavy risk-off flows, which knocked-off the returns on them, in turn, crushing the US dollar against its main competitors. Markets ignored the news that US President Trump won the Michigan Republican primary.
The Asian equities turned into a sea of red, led by sell-off in the Australian stocks, despite the Australian health package announced. Wall Street futures also followed suit, with S&P 500 futures down almost 3%, at the press time. Gold prices, on the other hand, recovered above $1660 levels.
Across the fx board, the yen outperformed, having rallied nearly 1.50% vs. the greenback, with USD/JPY dumped to near 104.00. The shared currency benefited the most from the broad dollar slump, as EUR/USD bounced back to 1.1350. The rest of the major also recovered ground, although the Canadian dollar trimmed the recovery gains in tandem with oil prices. Meanwhile, AUD/USD stood better bid above the 0.6500 level.
Main topics in Asia
US COVID-19 Task Force Presser: Costs will be covered by US health insurance industry for those contracted the virus
RBA deputy governor, Debelle: Coronavirus causing large increase in risk aversion, uncertainty
WH Adviser Kudlow: Will outline more detailed package in near future
Coronavirus update: Washington reports two more deaths, UK Health Minister Dorries infected
Australian PM Morrison announces AUD 2.4 bln health package to combat coronavirus – Reuters
US coronavirus testing threatened by shortage of critical lab materials – Politico
Japanese coronavirus infections rise to 1,278 cases including cruise ship and charter flight returnees – NHK
Biden defeats Sanders in Mississippi and Missouri primaries – Bloomberg
South Korea confirms 242 new coronavirus cases, 6 more deaths
S&P: Australia’s economy will move into recession by June 2020
Australia’s economic stimulus package to tackle coronavirus will be between $15bn-$20bn
Bank Indonesia’s Warijyo: Committed to stabilize financial markets amid coronavirus
US coronavirus confirmed cases now tops 1,000, risk takes a fresh hit
US Treasury likely to push back April 15 tax filing deadline – WSJ
Key focus ahead
We have a busy European calendar today, mainly dominated by the releases from the UK, including the monthly Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Industrial and Manufacturing Production, among other minority reports. The UK data dump will drop in at 0930 GMT. The focus also remains on the first post-Brexit UK Budget Report that will be presented by Finance Minister Sunak.
Investors then look forwards to the US Consumer Price Index (CPI) data due at 1230 GMT for fresh dollar trades while oil traders will closely watch out for the Energy Information Administration (EIA) Crude Oil Stocks Change data lined up for release at 1430 GMT. Later in the American afternoon, the US Monthly Budget Statement will be published, as all eyes remain on the details of the economic stimulus package to battle the virus outbreak in the US.
In the lead up to the macro news, the sentiment across the financial markets will remain driven by the risk trends and coronavirus updates.
EUR/USD rebounds towards 1.1350 as US dollar wilts with Treasury yields
EUR/USD jumps back on the bids and looks to retest the 1.1350 level amid unabated broad-based US dollar selling, as we progress towards the European opening bells, having stalled its corrective slide at 1.1275.
GBP/USD: All eyes on UK’s first post-Brexit budget, monthly data dump
GBP/USD bounces back above 1.2900 ahead of the key UK macro catalysts. Chancellor Sunak is expected to try various means to please Brexiteers amid coronavirus fears. The EU-UK jitters continue to play out.
UK Budget Preview: Showing the way with fiscal stimulus? GBP/USD has room to rally
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is set to present a budget including stimulus. Additional spending in face of the coronavirus crisis is eyed. GBP/USD has room to rise if the government provides an open-ended expenditure commitment