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Here is what you need to know on Wednesday, April 15:

Markets are mixed in Asia and futures are pointing to a marginally lower open in the US after rallying on Tuesday. The dollar is edging up after coming under pressure beforehand. The economic calendar fills up on Wednesday. 

Gold has been consolidating its gains, trading above $1,720 after nearing $1,750. The precious metal is moving alongside stocks rather than as a safe haven 

The global number of COVID-19 cases is on the verge of crossing two million, and deaths are above 126,000. Several countries have reported lower numbers due to tot the Easter holidays. Figures released on Wednesday will already be clean of any distortions. 

The International Monetary Fund released gloomy forecasts, including a global recession with a fall of 6% in output, including in the US. President Donald Trump announced he is withholding money from the World Health Organization due to alleged failings with coronavirus.

Back to normal?: Trump would like to see the reopening of the economy immediately, at least in some states. Goldman Sachs’ congestion figures for China are showing a gradual return to normal. Denmark is reopening some schools after Spain and Italy have also eased some restrictions amid moderation in infections and deaths. The UK government is set to decide on three additional weeks of lockdown. Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues recovering in Chequers.

GBP/USD is holding onto gains around 1.26 despite the Office of Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) scenario for a plunge of 35% in economic output in the second quarter and 13% for the full year.

US Retail Sales for March are projected to show a plunge of 8% in the headline and 4.8% in core sales, reflecting the beginning of coronavirus lockdowns. The figures will likely show an increase in food consumption and a drop in everything else.

See Retail Sales Preview: Can consumers stare down unemployment?

The Bank of Canada is projected to leave the interest rate unchanged at 0.25% after several emergency rate cuts related to the crisis. The announcement is not accompanied by a media lockup, potentially triggering more volatility. Governor Stephen Poloz and Deputy Carolyn Wilkins are set to speak to the press later on.

See BoC Preview: On hold but keeping its powder dry in its full-year forecast, 1.36s-1.5050s FX playbook

The Canadian dollar has stabilized around 1.39 as oil prices remain on the back foot. WTI is grinding toward $20 after OPEC announced a production cut of nearly 10 million barrels per day – probably insufficient to match falling demand. US oil inventories are awaited.

Late in the day, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book will shed light on the state of the economy in various regions. It may also provide hints toward the next Fed decision.

See  Beige Book Preview: Back to the future

Cryptocurrencies are trading calmly, with Bitcoin hovering just below $7,000.