Global Fundamental Analysis 17/04/2020

OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is to open higher.  


Global oil demand will drop by 6.8 million barrels a day in 2020, with the sharpest contraction coming in April amid travel bans and lockdowns aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said.


Morgan Stanley Quarterly Profit Falls 30%  The Wall Street firm’s profit fell 30% in the first quarter, the last big U.S. bank to lurch through a period of stress wrought by the coronavirus.


Overnight Summary




Australian Market

Australian shares clawed back from a sharp early selloff but still ended lower, as investors apparently refocused their attention on the enduring disruption of the
coronavirus pandemic.  With Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirming restrictions on movement and businesses will last at least another four weeks, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index closed lower for a second straight session, falling 0.9% to 5416.3.

The index fell as much as 2.2% in early trade, rattled by declines on Wall Street and the slide in the price of oil to an 18-year low. The energy sector lost 1.6% but
consumer-discretionary shares were the worst performers, falling 2.1%.


US Market

U.S. stocks swung between small gains and losses intraday after data showed another spike in the number of Americans seeking jobless benefits.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 7 points, or less than 0.1% as the closing bell approached. The S&P 500 rose 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite added nearly 1.4%.

More than 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March, Labor Department data released Thursday showed. The data, alongside other reports showing new-home construction slumping, have made it clear the U.S. economy is under increasing strain as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.



Gold futures gave up earlier gains to end lower, pressured as the U.S. dollar strengthened in the wake of a surge in weekly U.S. jobless claims, which underlined the
rapid deterioration in the economy from the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Labor Department reported that 5.25 million workers who lost jobs applied for
unemployment benefits last week, driving the number of coronavirus-related layoffs above 21 million in just one month.

Gold for June delivery on Comex fell by $8.50, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,731.70 an ounce after touching an earlier high of $1,768. Prices finished at the lowest level for a
most-active contract since April 8, according to FactSet data. Wednesday’s loss of 1.6% halted a four-session string of gains.  In other commodity markets, May wheat prices fell 10 1/2 cents to $5.29 3/4.


Oil Futures

Oil prices ended little changed, erasing early gains after OPEC said the world’s demand for crude would drop by 20 million barrels a day – about a fifth – in April.
Brent crude added 0.5% to close at $27.82 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate futures – the U.S. benchmark-ended flat at $19.87 a barrel.
U.S. crude prices remained close to the 18-year lows hit in late March, despite a historic agreement Sunday between OPEC and other oil producers including Russia to cut
output to soften the blow to global demand from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.



The WSJ Dollar Index was recently up 0.40% at 94.07.


European Markets

European shares close mixed as downbeat U.S. jobless data partially offsets optimism about an easing in coronavirus-crisis lock-downs in Europe.  The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.6%, the FTSE 100 advanced 0.5% and the DAX lifted 0.2%. Still, the CAC-40 dropped 0.08%, markets in Spain and Norway fell.


Asian Markets

Japanese stocks were down, weighed on by falls in auto, electronics and airline stocks, due to continuing concerns about earnings impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Nikkei Stock Average fell 1.3% at 19290.20. Investors are focusing on any latest developments on Covid-19 and waiting for the earnings season set to start next week.
South Korea’s benchmark Kospi index closed flat at 1857.07, down 0.01 point, erasing most of its earlier losses. Steel, shipbuilding and auto stocks led the falls, which were
offset by gains in chemicals and internet companies.

Singapore shares reversed early losses to end higher on hopes coronavirus lockdowns might be eased in some parts of the world. Germany will begin reopening its economy next week after spending a month in a partial lockdown, and other countries could soon follow. The FTSE Straits Times Index closed 0.3% higher at 2612.25. Malaysia’s benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index closed 0.1% lower at 1386.53, in line with regional peers, as investors took profit against blue chips at the eleventh hour, Malacca Securities said.  Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed 0.6% lower at 24006.45.

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