Markets paused for a breath on virus concerns

Markets paused for a breath on virus concerns

  • Investments

Stocks and crude oil are tumbling once again, with havens including the yen and treasuries jumping, as fears deepen about the impact of the deadly coronavirus on near-term growth, writes Ian Slattery.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year treasury note plunged to its lowest level in about three months on Friday. Last week was a short one for traders, as US equity markets were closed on Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Italy’s Matteo Salvini suffered a stinging defeat in a key regional vote, providing a much-needed boost to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s fragile government and making a snap general election less likely.

In France and Germany, the largest economies in the eurozone, a positive start to the year was noted, with combined output growth at a five month high in January.

Equities

Global markets closed lower for the shortened trade week. Hong Kong fell by – 3.2% in local terms, leading losses among major markets.

Fixed Income & FX

The US 10-year yield finished at 1.62% last week. The German equivalent finished at -0.37%. The Irish 10 year bond yield finished at 0.11%. The Euro/US Dollar exchange rate remained at 1.10, whilst Euro/GBP was at 0.84.

Commodities

Oil fell back finishing the week at $53 per barrel. Gold increased to $1,583 per troy ounce and copper decreased to $5,900 per tonne.

The week ahead

Wednesday 29th January:

FOMC rate decision

Thursday 30th January:

Bank of England interest rate decision

Friday 31st January:

Eurozone GDP Q4 and January inflation figures released

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