Friday’s Asian session was rich for different coronavirus headlines while yesterday’s G20 video summit and the upcoming vote in the US House of Representatives were the top issues.
On Thursday, G20 leaders held its first virtual meeting. In the statement after the summit, which lasted about 90 minutes, they pledged to do their best to stop the coronavirus spread aided by the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations (UN), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international organizations. They also promised to do whatever it takes to protect lives, secure growth, maintain financial stability and help all countries, especially those in need of assistance. In the face of a new global crisis, governments forgot about their odds and united that brought some relief to markets and led to the Wall Street rally.
Today, the House of Representatives will vote the new $2 trillion stimulus package approved by the US Senate yesterday. A two-hour discussion is set to start at 1300 GMT. However, there were rumors that ‘at least’ one of the Republicans would act to delay the vote into the weekend. Nancy Pelosi, House of Representatives Leader, called on all its members not to do anything that might postpone the voting.
Meanwhile, US President Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping had a telephone conversation on the coronavirus outbreak. The US leader tweeted that the negotiations went very well and wrote that they discussed in detail the pandemic that ravaged ‘our Planet’ while Xi said China was willing to offer the US its cooperation to curb the epidemic.
Markets cheered the positive headlines that supported a bit risk assets however traders remain cautious as governments all over the world are still helpless in taking the virus under control. The number of new cases in the US exceeded those in China while the situation in Europe is deplorable.
The US equity futures and the DXY continued its march south as investors didn’t digest yet yesterday’s dire surge in the US jobless claims (the number of initial claims surpassed 3 million versus 282K previously). USDJPY traded with losses in the 108.60 area, EURUSD was last seen at 1.1042 while the Cable briefly reclaimed the 1.2300 mark but pulled back to 1.2230. AUDUSD breached 0.60 level and USDCAD held above 1.40.
Still, the coronavirus headlines and today’s vote in the US House of Representatives will be in focus and will determine the market’s mood on the last trading day.