Posted Mar 25, 2020 by Martin Armstrong
India’s informal sector which comprises of approx. 1 million daily wage workers (mainly working in the construction sector) may face a big problem after the country went into a complete lockdown for 21 days. Many Indian states have announced packages ranging from 1K INR to 5k INR to support the daily wage workers but this is limited to only registered workers with agencies and large construction companies in India. Approx. 5,00,000 daily wage workers working in the informal sector are not registered with such companies or agencies.
India has reported 606 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11 deaths at the time of writing this report.
Facebook Inc is in talks to buy a multibillion-dollar stake in Reliance Industries Ltd.’s telecom unit- Reliance Jio, a major Indian daily news agency reported. It was reported that Facebook was in for a 10% stake in Jio, controlled by India’s wealthiest man Mukesh Ambani, but the talks were halted due to global travel bans amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Li Keqiang, who is the current Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, has warned local officials not to hide new coronavirus cases after the country reported several days of no locally transmitted infections in a major turnaround in its fight against the deadly pandemic. Li, the country’s second-in-command, urged local governments on Monday to “seek truth from facts” and be “open and transparent” in releasing information on the epidemic.
The Badaling section of the Great Wall of China has reopened as life is China slowly regains normalcy. The popular tourist place was closed in January amid coronavirus concerns.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the International Olympic Committee have agreed that the upcoming Tokyo Games “will be held by the summer of 2021,” the prime minister’s office announced Tuesday.
The major Asian stock markets had a green day today:
- NIKKEI 225 increased 1,454.28 points or 8.04% to 19,546.63
- Shanghai increased 59.15 points or 2.17% to 2,781.59
- Hang Seng increased 863.70 points or 3.81% to 23,527.19
- ASX 200 increased 262.40 points or 5.54% to 4,998.10
- Kospi increased 94.79 points or 5.89% to 1,704.76
- SENSEX increased 1,861.75 points or 6.98% to 28,535.78
The major Asian currency markets had a mixed day today:
- AUDUSD decreased 0.00151 or -0.25% to 0.59579
- NZDUSD decreased 0.00003 or -0.01% to 0.58297
- USDJPY increased 0.1090 or 0.10% to 111.1800
- USDCNY increased 0.0496 or 0.70% to 7.1204
- Gold decreased 26.3 USD/t oz. or -1.61% to 1,610.70
- Silver decreased 0.2705 USD/t. oz or -1.85% to 14.3410
Some economic news from last night:
Exports (Feb) increased from 4.69B to 4.92B
Imports (Feb) decreased from 5.10B to 4.33B
Trade Balance (MoM) (Feb) increased from -414M to 594M
Trade Balance (YoY) (Feb) increased from -3,950M to -3,260M
Some economic news from today:
M3 Money Supply increased from 9.4% to 9.5%
Today, Spain surpassed China in the number of deaths due to Covid-19. Spain recorded 738 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 3,434, surpassing China’s 3,281.
London’s blue-chip index FTSE 100 rose two percent higher to 5,557 by 4 pm GMT and closed at 5634 after US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced a $2 trillion US coronavirus stimulus package.
Business groups and unions have called on ministers to provide urgent clarification over which companies will remain open during the coronavirus lockdown amid widespread confusion across Britain.
France’s Ministry of State for Digital Affairs and public investment bank Bpifrance has announced 4.3 billion USD support plan to support startups to counter their liquidity crisis. France has already announced a widespread economic support plan. French companies that are facing revenue issues can skip tax payments as well as rent and utility bills.
The major Europe stock markets had a green day today:
- CAC 40 increased 189.60 points or 4.47% to 4,432.30
- FTSE 100 increased 242.19 points, or 4.45% to 5,688.20
- DAX 30 increased 173.69 points or 1.79% to 9,874.26
The major Europe currency markets had a mixed day today:
- EURUSD increased 0.00667 or 0.62% to 1.08747
- GBPUSD increased 0.00704 or 0.60% to 1.18604
- USDCHF decreased 0.0023 or 0.23% to 0.9775
Some economic news from Europe today:
France Jobseekers Total decreased from 3,264.8K to 3,233.8K
German Business Expectations (Mar) decreased from 93.1 to 79.7
German Current Assessment (Mar) decreased from 99.0 to 93.0
German Ifo Business Climate Index (Mar) decreased from 96.0 to 86.1
ZEW Expectations (Mar) decreased from 7.7 to -45.8
Spanish PPI (YoY) decreased from -0.9% to -2.2%
Unemployment Rate (Jan) decreased from 3.9% to 3.8%
CBI Distributive Trades Survey (Mar) decreased from 1 to -3
Core CPI MoM (MoM) (Feb) increased from -0.6% to 0.6%
Core CPI (YoY) (Feb) increased from 1.6% to 1.7%
Core PPI Output (MoM) (Feb) decreased from 0.1% to -0.1%
Core PPI Output (YoY) (Feb) increased from 0.2% to 0.4%
Core RPI (YoY) (Feb) decreased from 2.8% to 2.5%
Core RPI (MoM) (Feb) increased from -0.4% to 0.5%
CPI (MoM) (Feb) increased from -0.3% to 0.4%
CPI (YoY) (Feb) decreased from 1.8% to 1.7%
CPI, n.s.a (Feb) increased from 108.20 to 108.60
PPI Input (MoM) (Feb) decreased from 0.3% to -1.2%
PPI Input (YoY) (Feb) decreased from 1.6% to -0.5%
PPI Output (YoY) (Feb) decreased from 1.0% to 0.4%
PPI Output (MoM) (Feb) decreased from 0.2% to -0.3%
RPI (YoY) (Feb) decreased from 2.7% to 2.5%
RPI (MoM) (Feb) increased from -0.4% to 0.5%
US lawmakers agreed this Wednesday on a $2 trillion stimulus package to aid Americans impacted by the coronavirus. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the bill “a wartime level of investment for our nation” that received bipartisan support in the Senate. “It will rush new resources onto the frontlines of our nation’s healthcare sites, and it will inject trillions of dollars into the economy as fast as possible,” McConnell stated. The final text of the legislation has not been released, but we do know what it will likely include. Under the stimulus package, individuals who earn less than $75,000 annually will qualify for a $1,200 payout. Married couples grossing less than $150,000 can qualify for $2,400, and parents can claim $500 per child. Citizens earning less than those set amounts may still receive a government payout but it will be significantly less.
A group of 33 Attorneys General published a letter this Wednesday demanding a stop to price gouging on critical supplies during the ongoing pandemic. In one letter directed at Amazon CEO/Founder Jeff Bezos, the group noted that the average price of hand sanitizer and face masks rose by 50% during recent weeks. “We believe you have an ethical obligation and duty to help your fellow citizens in this time of need,” the letter stated.
New York is erecting four new hospitals to handle the coronavirus outbreak. At the time of this writing, there are over 25,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in NY and over 200 deaths. An order of 4,000 ventilators was sent to the state as well, but Governor Cuomo says that it is not enough and is requesting additional federal aid. The Four Seasons Hotel on 57th Street announced that it will provide free lodging to healthcare workers fighting the virus.
US Market Closings:
- Dow advanced 495.64 points or 2.39% to 21,200.55
- S&P 500 advanced 28.23 points or 1.15% to 2,475.56
- Nasdaq declined 33.56 points or -0.45% to 7,384.29
- Russell 2000 advanced 13.79 points or 1.26% to 1,110.34
Canada Market Closings:
- TSX Composite advanced 568.15 points or 4.52% to 12,139.23
- TSX 60 advanced 30.13 points or 3.9% to 802.55
Brazil Market Closing:
- Bovespa advanced 5,226.27 points or 7.5% to 74,955.57
The oil markets had a mixed day today:
- Crude Oil increased 0.56 USD/BBL or 2.32% to 24.6600
- Brent increased 0.04 USD/BBL or 0.15% to 27.5100
- Natural gas decreased 0.013 USD/MMBtu or -0.70% to 1.8310
- Gasoline increased 0.0827 USD/GAL or 14.37% to 0.6582
- Heating oil decreased 0.0032 USD/GAL or -0.29% to 1.1089
- Top commodity gainers: Ethanol (13.96%), Gasoline (14.37%), Bitumen (4.81%), and Palladium (19.03%)
- Top commodity losers: Lean Hogs (-1.97%), Gold (-1.61%), Silver (-1.85%), and Lumber (-2.86%)
The above data was collected around 14.50 EST on Wednesday.
Japan 0.05%(+1bp), US 2’s 0.36% (-3bps), US 10’s 0.84%(+2bps); US 30’s 1.35%(-2bps), Bunds -0.29% (+3bp), France 0.21% (+2bp), Italy 1.56% (-4bp), Turkey 13.01% (+5bp), Greece 2.42% (-4bp), Portugal 1.01% (-4bp); Spain 0.88% (-2bp) and UK Gilts 0.44% (-3bp).
- US 5-Year Note Auction decreased from 1.150% to 0.000%