Massive week coming up as virus wrecks markets

March 2, 2020

A crucial week coming up for markets as the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc.

The EURUSD ended Friday higher after opening the day at $1.09985. The pair climbed its way up to a high of $1.10527 before falling away to lows of $1.09500 by mid-session trading. The euro rallied late in the day and regained most of those earlier losses. It has opened higher and is now trading at $1.10615. The GBPUSD went in the opposite direction after beginning the last day of the trading week at $1.28832. The pair remained flat early in the day, nudging up to a high of $1.29195 mid-session. The pound plummeted almost two cents, hitting lows of $1.27239 late in the day. It has come off those lows and is now trading at $1.28143.

The Dow endured a wild session on Friday as uncertainty grips markets. The index started Friday at 25,535.23 and edged up to a high of 25,766.39 early in the day. The decline began shortly afterwards, with the Dow hitting a low of 24,673.64 late in the day before bouncing back and closing at 25,687.59. However, it has opened much lower on Monday and is now trading at 25,210.00. The Dax was once again weighed down by the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus. The German index opened at 12,091.72 and ticked up to a high of 12,158.27 early in the day. The Dax fell away soon after, hitting lows of 11,717.36 mid-session. It ebbed and flowed for the rest of the day before closing at 11,921.18. It has opened lower on Monday and is now sitting at 11,869.62.

The week ahead will be full of uncertainty as we get daily updates regarding the spread of the coronavirus. The World Health Organisation has yet to declare this a pandemic, but that could come this week, which would bring even more volatility to markets. This has prompted central banks to step in and say they are willing to support markets, but what can central banks do when the problem is not finance-related?

Data published today and the most significant this week includes:

Today – Australian Commodity Prices, European, German and French Final Manufacturing PMIs, Italian, Spanish and Swiss Manufacturing PMIs, UK Final Manufacturing PMI, M4 Money Supply, Mortgage Approvals and Net Lending to Individuals

Tuesday – US ISM Manufacturing PMI, Australian Cash Rate, RBA Rate Statement, Building Approvals and Current Account

Wednesday – Australian GDP

Thursday – US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI and ADP Non-Farm Employment Change, Canadian Overnight Rate and Rate Statement, OPEC Meetings

Friday – US Non-Farm Employment Change, Average Hourly Earnings and Unemployment Rate, Australian Retail Sales, Canadian Employment Change, Unemployment Rate and Trade Balance, BoE Governor Mark Carney and BoC Governor Stephen Poloz speak


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