Vantage Point: Pandemic
The world has seen the emergence of a novel coronavirus that has infected large numbers of people in China and the rest of the world. This edition is devoted to trying to work out what the economic impact might be, and for how long it will continue.
Weekly Market Roundup
March 23, 2020
Start your week off right with our market snapshot from the Global Economics and Investment Analysis Group.
- Global stocks declined -11.9% in the latest week bringing the MTD fall to -22.4% and the YTD drop to nearly -30%.
- Led by the US, developed markets were -12.2% (-22.8% MTD; -29.7% YTD) followed by -9.8% in emerging markets (-20.0% MTD, -27.7% YTD).
- Non-US developed markets (EAFE) fared better than the S&P 500 as the decline was only -5.8% vs. -15.0% for the S&P 500. In the US, small caps were the worst (-16.2%) and are also down the most YTD (-39.0%).
- In fixed income, high yield and leveraged loans were both down more than -10%. Corporate credit spreads widened significantly with US high yield spreads rising 286 bp and by 513 bp MTD but are still roughly half of the 2008 peak.
- Oil corrected further and was down another -29.3% bringing the YTD correction to -63.3%.
- The US 2-year Treasury was 18 bp lower to 0.31% and the 10-and-30-year Treasuries both were -11 bp and are now 0.85% and 1.42%, respectively.
- Despite falling rates, the US dollar appreciated 4.1% and is 6.7% YTD given its safe haven status.
- Eurozone ZEW survey expectations of economic growth plummeted to -49.5. Compared to history, the index has only been lower during Oct.-Dec. 2011 and the second half of 2008.
- China retail sales in January-February compared to 2019 were -20.5% lower. Over the same time period, industrial production declined -13.5% and fixed asset investment dropped -24.5%. All were the lowest in history by far. While the proportion of the labor force actually working has improved, it could take longer than is currently expected to normalize.
- US Markit Manufacturing and Services PMI (Tuesday)
- Eurozone Markit Manufacturing and Services PMI (Tuesday)
- UK Markit Manufacturing and Services PMI (Tuesday)
- US Durable Goods Orders (Wednesday)
- Eurozone Consumer Confidence (Wednesday)
- US Initial Jobless Claims (Thursday)
- UK Retail Sales (Thursday)
- US UMichigan Consumer Sentiment (Friday)
Monthly Market Roundup
Risk off to Start 2020
- Markets started the year on a risk-off mode as unprecedented efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus weighed on extended markets.
- As investors began to shave expectations for China and 2020 global growth, global stocks lost -1.1% in January led by a -4.7% decline in emerging markets.
- Credit spreads widened and safe haven assets gained on the heightened risk aversion as 10-year US Treasuries fell 41 bp, gold advanced 3.8% and the USD increased 1.0%.
- Even as we expect a one to two quarter hit to China, and, to a lesser extent global growth, progress on trade talks, easier financial conditions, and a healthy US consumer have led to an uptick in economic activity and we do not anticipate a sustained impact on growth.
- Our key outlook of stabilizing and modestly improving global growth remains intact.
- Nevertheless we remain flexible given the uncertainty and unpredictability in forecasting how the unprecedented efforts to contain the spread of the virus will play out and believe that risks are to the downside.
Monthly Market Roundup Podcast
Presented by Lale Akoner,
Points of View
Government Bonds: Why we expect yields to edge higher…
Our forecasts for yields still imply a market that is too pessimistic and lowered its estimates too far. Hence, we see a higher probability of an upward drift in yields as growth stabilizes in 2020.
U.S. Treasuries: Why we think recession fears are unjustified
Given dramatic moves in risk markets, we provide a brief update of what we think markets are currently pricing in along with implications for investing.