29 March 2020
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Good morning, Australia

Craig James
23 March 2020

How’dy USA

In US economic data, existing home sales rose by 6.5% to a 5.77 million annual rate in February (forecast 0.7% rise to 5.5m). US share markets fell by 3.8-4.6% on Friday. New York joined California in ordering non-essential workers to stay at home. Investors await a US$1 trillion stimulus package that may be voted on, on Monday. After trading in a 1,437-point range the Dow Jones index closed lower by 913 points or 4.6%. The S&P500 index fell by 4.3% and the Nasdaq lost 271 points or 3.8%. Major indexes posted their biggest weekly falls since October 2008. Last week the Dow fell by 17.3%, the S&P 500 fell by 15% and the Nasdaq lost 12.6%.

US treasury bond prices rose on Friday (yields lower). Investors responded to "stay at home" orders by a number of US states. According to Bloomberg, the New York Federal Reserve accepted a total of $72 billion in bids in repurchase agreement operations. US 2- year yields fell by 10 points to 0.325%. And US 10-year yields fell by 24 points to 0.885. Over the week US 2-year yields fell by 17 points and US 10-year yields fell by 7 points.

Major currencies eased against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from near US$1.0830 to around US$1.0640 and was around US$1.0695 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from near US59.80 cents to US57.50 cents and was near US58.00 cents at the US close of trade. And the Japanese yen eased from near 109.30 yen per US dollar to JPY111.50 and was near JPY110.80 at the US close of trade.

Bonjour Europe

European share markets rose on Friday with investors encouraged by Thursday's rate cut in the UK and European Central Bank monetary stimulus. Travel rose 9.8%, energy rose 6.2% with media down 1.9% and healthcare down 1.3%. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose by 1.8%. The German Dax rose by 3.7%; the UK FTSE gained 0.8%. In London trade, shares of Rio Tinto rose by 1.2% while BHP rose by 3.2%.

Hello World!

Major currencies eased against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from near US$1.0830 to around US$1.0640 and was around US$1.0695 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from near US59.80 cents to US57.50 cents and was near US58.00 cents at the US close of trade. And the Japanese yen eased from near 109.30 yen per US dollar to JPY111.50 and was near JPY110.80 at the US close of trade.

Global oil prices fell by as much as 10.7% on Friday. Reuters said hedge funds and other money managers rushed to get out of the Nymex contract on the final day of trade. Officials in Washington said an envoy would head to Saudi Arabia to deal with fallout of a Saudi-Russia oil price war. Brent crude fell by US$1.49 or 5.2% to US$26.98 a barrel. The US Nymex price fell by US$2.69 or 10.7% to US$22.53 a barrel. Over the week Brent fell by US$6.87 or 20.3%. Nymex fell by US$9.20 or 29% - the biggest weekly fall since January 1991.

Base metal prices were mixed on Friday. Aluminium, copper and nickel fell by up to 3.0% with aluminium down most. Other metals rose up to 2% with lead up the most. Over the week metals fell between 5.3-12.3% with lead down the least and tin down the most.

Base metal prices were mixed on Friday. Aluminium, copper and nickel fell by up to 3.0% with aluminium down most. Other metals rose up to 2% with lead up the most. Over the week metals fell between 5.3-12.3% with lead down the least and tin down the most.

The gold futures price rose by US$5.40 an ounce or 0.4% to US$1,484.00 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,498 an ounce in late US trade. Over the week gold fell by US$31.70 or 2.1%. Iron ore fell by US$3.95 or 4.4% to US$86.55 a tonne. Over the week iron ore fell by US$4.45 or 4.9%.

G’day Australia

In Australia, no major economic data is expected. In the US, the national activity index is released.

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