Here is what you need to know on Thursday, March 12:
President Donald Trump addressed the nation amid the growing coronavirus crisis and failed to provide a coherent message. He announced the banning of flights to and from Europe, excluding the UK, from Friday. Measures to provide relief for businesses were limited. Markets were disappointed by the lack of significant fiscal stimulus in the president’s Oval Office address.
At the same time, basketball matches at the NBA were canceled after a played contracted the virus and actor Tom Hanks said he and his wife were confirmed positive, bringing the virus to the mainstream of American life.
Stock markets in Asia and S&P futures are significantly lower. American stock indexes entered a bear market on Wednesday. alongside oil prices, which have resumed their falls amid the price war.
See Stocks analysis: It’s not nice to tease the markets: Equities enter bear territory
The safe-haven Japanese yen is jumping while the greenback edging lower against the euro and the pound together as US yields are declining again. Gold prices are attempting a recovery.
The European Central Bank is set to announce its rate decision today with few tools in its shed, as the deposit rate is already at -0.50% and the Quantitative Easing program already stands at €20 billion per month. Christine Lagarde, the ECB’s President, told EU leaders that unless they act, the continent may suffer a 2008-style crisis.
See ECB Preview: Three losing scenarios for Lagarde and EUR/USD as EU leaders fail to counter coronavirus
Coronavirus updates: The World Health Organization finally labeled Covid-19 as a pandemic. Italy slapped additional nationwide restrictions closing restaurants, bars, and shops apart from necessities as the number of cases topped 12,000. Spain confirmed over 2,000 cases and various countries are banning gathering and canceling sports events.
GBP/USD has stabilized above 1.28 after a roller coaster Wednesday when the Bank of England slashed interest rates by 50 basis point to 0.25% and the government introduced massive fiscal stimulus in a coordinated move.
The Australian dollar is on the back foot below 0.65 despite the government’s announcement of a stimulus package.
US data: US jobless claims and producer prices are published today after consumer prices came out marginally above expectations for February in a publication on Wednesday. The focus remains on coronavirus headlines.
Middle East: Two American soldiers and one Brit were killed in an attack in Iraq.
Cryptocurrencies have resumed their slide, with Bitcoin trading around $7,600. Digital assets, which were in demand around the Iran crisis, fail to attract safe-haven flows amid this health crisis.
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