Search ForexCrunch

Here is what you need to know on Thursday, March 5:

The market mood is mixed after the US House of Representatives has passed a special spending bill to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus break. Investors also cheered the victory of centrist Joe Biden in the Democratic Party’s “Super Tuesday” contests. The falling chances of left-leaning Bernie Sanders winning the nomination provided relief for markets. Businessman Michael Bloomberg’s decision to step down and back Biden also boosted stocks.

On the other hand, California declared a state of emergency and companies such as Microsoft and HSBC are enacting contingency plans Around 93,000 have been infected worldwide with fewer new cases in China and more in other places. Italy took the drastic step of closing schools and universities after the death toll surpassed 100. EUR/USD felt the pressure and lagged behind its peers.

Tokyo’s Olympic Games are at risk of cancelation while South Korea’s pace of new infections has dropped and its mortality rate slipped to 0.5%, below the global average. In the US, 11 fatal cases have been confirmed.

Gold prices have stabilized around $1,640 as additional developments are awaited. See Gold may top $2,000, stock crash potential, EUR/USD uptrend, and more – Interview with Joel Kruger

GBP/USD advanced as incoming Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey opened the door to monetary stimulus in face of the crisis but seemed calm. The BOE is unlikely to take drastic emergency steps like the Federal Reserve’s 50 basis point emergency cut on Tuesday. Outgoing Governor Mark Carney speaks later today.

The Bank of Canada followed the Fed and slashed borrowing costs by 50bp to 1.25%. The BOC responded to the health crisis and also to the domestic weakness seen mostly in weak retail sales. Governor Stephen Poloz delivers a speech late in the day.

Oil prices are on the back foot once again as OPEC and non-OPEC members are reportedly in disagreement over the level of cuts. Crude climbed on Wednesday amid talk of a significant production cut and as US oil inventories dropped less than usual.

US data was mostly upbeat with the ISM Non-MAnufacturing PMI beating expectations with a score of 57.2. The employment component also advanced, providing optimism ahead of Friday’s Non-Farm Payrolls report. ADP’s private-sector jobs report marginally exceeded estimates with 183,000 new positions, yet it came on top of downward revisions. Factory Orders figures for January are forecast to show a drop. 

Cryptocurrencies have been advancing with Bitcoin temporarily topping $9,000.