U.S. stocks sharply higher on Wednesday, futures pull back this morning.
- European stocks ended higher, extending gains from previous session, on expectations global central banks will announce stimulus measures to offset the impact of the coronavirus on the global economy.
- US stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the trading day, more than offsetting the steep losses posted in the previous session. The major averages moved significantly higher early in the session and saw further upside as the day progressed.
- Asian stocks ended mixed after the U.S. Federal Reserve slashed interest rates by half a percentage point in an apparent move to mitigate the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.
- Stocks of crude oil in the United States increased by 0.785 million barrels in the week ended February 29th of 2020, following a 0.452 million gain in the previous week and compared with market expectations of a 2.644 million gain, according to EIA Petroleum Status Report. Meanwhile, gasoline inventories went down by 4.34 million barrels after decreasing by 2.691 million in the previous week and compared with market consensus of a 2.095 million decline
- All Schools in Italy will be closed until March 15 in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus and the risk of slipping into recession. The government may also announce a ban on public and cultural events. The IMF sees “more dire” possibilities ahead for the global economy.
- South Korea’s current account surplus narrowed to USD 1.01 billion in January 2020 from USD 3.30 billion in the same month the previous year, well below the USD 5.38 billion expected by consensus. The goods surplus narrowed to USD 1.93 billion from USD 5.75 billion a year ago as exports slumped to USD 43.44 billion from USD 49.53 billion, whereas the services deficit narrowed to USD 2.48 billion from USD 3.53 billion. Meanwhile, the primary income surplus stood practically unchanged at USD 1.69 billion from USD 1.68 billion a year earlier, whereas the secondary income gap widened to USD 0.13 billion from USD 0.60 billion.
- The Bank of Canada cut its benchmark interest rate by 50 bps to 1.25% on March 4th 2020, bringing borrowing costs to the lowest since June 2018. It is the first time since March 2009 that the central bank slash rates by 50bps, following US Fed’s decision to lower rates by the same margin. Policymakers said that the economy has been operating close to its potential with inflation on target, but noted that the coronavirus outbreak is a material negative shock to the economy.. The Bank Rate and deposit rate were also cut by 50bps to 1.5% and 1%, respectively.
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