Asian stocks are building on Tuesday’s gains, taking their cues from Wall Street overnight, as the former attempts some form of recovery after Monday’s selloff. Most Asian currencies however are weakening against the US Dollar, while Gold is stabilising around the mid-$1500 region.
The rebound currently seen in equities may be on feeble footing, as the coronavirus outbreak casts a wider net, with the death toll now approaching 500, while confirmed cases have exceeded 24,000. Once the US earnings season is over, the support for global equities could be eroded, as investors focus primarily on the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the fragile global economic recovery. The near-term demand for safe haven assets is expected to remain elevated, while assets across the emerging-markets complex are expected to remain susceptible to further bouts of risk aversion.
China PMI still expanding at onset of coronavirus outbreak
China’s just-released Caixin PMI figures indicate that key sectors of the world’s second largest economy remained in expansionary territory in January, although it marked a deceleration from December’s figures. The economic data will continue to be in keen focus over the coming months, leading up to April’s Q1 GDP reading for the Chinese economy, as investors attempt to ascertain the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. Still, as evidenced by recent measures, policymakers have enough buffers and willingness to support the economy if the need arises, which should also help mitigate the downside risks from the coronavirus outbreak.
Dollar to snub political risks, focus on hard data
The Dollar index edged higher during US President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, crossing above the psychological 98.0 level. Still, neither the speech, nor the impeachment proceedings, are expected to have a meaningful effect on markets for the time being, as investors have bigger and more pressing factors to contend with. US assets’ inclination to react to domestic political events and risks should only grow as we draw closer to the November presidential elections.
In the interim, the Greenback remains exposed to overall global risk sentiment, the Fed’s policy bias, and the economic data. The US Dollar has defied expectations for a moderating performance so far this year, aided by the risk aversion stemming from unforeseen events, such as the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Having been buoyed by the positive surprise in the January ISM Manufacturing print earlier this week, Dollar bulls will be keeping their eyes on the January non-farm payrolls due Friday as the Dollar’s next major catalyst. Markets are currently expecting a print of 162,000 new jobs added last month. Should the US economy demonstrate that it has a solid enough foundation to potentially offset the downside risk stemming from the coronavirus outbreak, that could buffer the DXY’s presence above the 98.0 line.
Disclaimer: The content in this article comprises personal opinions and should not be construed as containing personal and/or other investment advice and/or an offer of and/or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments and/or a guarantee and/or prediction of future performance. ForexTime (FXTM), its affiliates, agents, directors, officers or employees do not guarantee the accuracy, validity, timeliness or completeness, of any information or data made available and assume no liability as to any loss arising from any investment based on the same.