President Donald Trump has addressed the nation on the coronavirus outbreak, saying the US is prepared, that is just the flu, and tapping Vice President Mike Pence to coordinate the response. He also criticized the Federal Reserve’s policy.
Stocks and majors: Trump added that stocks should recover, yet S&P futures are pointing to falls on Thursday and Asian markets are down. The benchmark ten-year Treasury yields hit a new record low at 1.287%, weighing on the dollar against majors and implying an imminent rate cut. EUR/USD trading above 1.09, USD/JPY is battling 110, and GBP/USD is holding above 1.29.
Commodity currencies are extending their slide, with AUD/USD trading around 0.6500 – a new decade low – also pressured by a fall of 2.8% in Australian Private Capital Expenditure. USD/CAD topped 1.33 as oil prices continue tumbling amid fear of weaker global demand. Gold prices are stable at around $1,650.
Disease updates: The first person-to-person case was reported in the US while Wednesday’s count of new cases consisted of more infections outside China than inside, for the first time. On Thursday, China reported 433 new cases and South Korea 334 ones. The continued spread in Europe is also worrying investors. A report from Japan about a potential quick method to test for the virus has provided some encouragement.
US data is on the docket today, with the second read of Gross Domestic Product set to confirm the annualized growth rate of 2.1% in the fourth quarter.
Durable Goods Orders for January projected to rise on the headline but drop on core figures. New Home Sales surprised by jumping to 764K annualized in January.
See US Durables Preview: As China turns
Brexit: Chief EU Negotiator Michel Barnier softened his tone and said Brussels will offer London a “super preferential” deal. Official talks kick off on Monday.
Cryptocurrencies have been extending their losses after a sell-off on Wednesday when Bitcoin dropped below $8,700.
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