Thursday 9th April 2020

US

  • Senator Bernie Sanders has ended his presidential campaign, clearing the way for former Vice-President Joe Biden to become the Democratic party’s nominee. Mr. Sanders, aged 78, told supporters on Wednesday he saw no feasible path to get enough votes to win the nomination.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial average saw notable positivity, gaining 3.44% over the course of Wednesday’s trading.
  • McDonald’s sales fell less than 4% in the first three months of the year, despite closures due to lockdown measures prompted by the coronavirus. The fast-food chain took a big hit to its international business in March, when it shut outlets in the UK, France, Italy and Spain.
  • The tech-heavy Nasdaq lagged compared to other US indices, gaining only 2.58% over the course of Wednesday’s trading.
  • Electric car-maker Tesla will reduce staff pay and put non-essential workers on furlough while production of its vehicles is stopped due to coronavirus. Work at its factory in Fremont, California halted on 23 March.
  • WeWork has stopped paying rent at some U.S. locations, in the latest sign that the co-working company is aggressively trying to cut costs as the economic downturn eats into its revenue.

Europe

  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a £750m package to keep struggling charities afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. The move follows concern that some charities are facing collapse, with income shrinking because of enforced shop closures. Bigger charities such as Oxfam and Age UK have furloughed two-thirds of staff.
  • The FTSE and DAX both drifted down marginally over the course of yesterday’s trading, 0.47% and 0.23%, respectively. The IBEX 35 among the worst effected, falling 0.72%, whereas the CAC 40 made a small gain of 0.10%.
  • The U.K. Treasury said Thursday that it plans to use the Bank of England as a temporary source of financing during any market disruptions due to the new coronavirus. The Treasury’s so-called ways and means facility at the central bank acts like an overdraft and was last used to significant extent during the financial crisis more than a decade ago.
  • Air France-KLM said Thursday that traffic in March plunged and that it expects to cut more than 90% of its planned capacity in April and May due to the coronavirus.
  • The lockdown in Wales will be extended into the next week, the first minister has confirmed. Mark Drakeford said Wales must “not throw away gains” made against coronavirus “by abandoning our efforts just as they begin to bear fruit”.
  • Tesco has said that most food will still need to be purchased in-store amid the coronavirus pandemic. The supermarket giant said it wasn’t able to meet demand as more shoppers stay at home, despite the fact it has increased its online grocery shopping capacity by more than 20%.
  • Insurers Aviva, RSA, Direct Line and Hiscox have scrapped plans to pay dividends to shareholders during the coronavirus crisis. They acted after financial regulators urged them to pause payouts because of the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

Asia

  • The Bank of Japan downgraded its view on all of the country’s nine regional economies on Thursday as the coronavirus pandemic hit the nation’s manufacturing and services sectors. The bank reported the economies in the nine regions were either “weak” or facing “strong downward pressure.”
  • There has been a mixed reception through the Asia open. The Nikkei 225 has fallen 0.04% this morning, whereas the Hang Seng has risen 0.76%.
  • The strongest performer in the east has been the ASX 200 gaining 180.36 points, amounting to 3.46%.
  • The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen announced Wednesday that its forces would begin a cease-fire starting Thursday, a step that could pave the way for the first direct peace talks between the two sides that have been at war for more than five years.

Bonds

  • 10yr and 30yr US treasuries are currently trading at 0.74% and 1.352% respectively.
  • 10yr UK gilts trade with a yield of 0.382%.
  • German 10yr bund yields trade at -0.304%.
  • 10yr Italian and Spanish bond yields trade at 1.70% and 0.83% respectively.

Commodities

  • The WTI crude oil price is $26.16
  • Brent crude is $33.44
  • The gold price is $1654.40
  • The silver price is $15.08
  • The COMEX copper price is $2.28

Currency

  • The Yen is trading at 108.90 against the US dollar.
  • The US dollar is trading at 1.24 against the pound
  • The Euro is trading at 1.14 against the pound.