Market Spice: This Week's Roundup

Week of February 3rd, 2020 

Delany Higgins

Asia 

  • On Monday, following the Lunar New Year holiday, the People’s Bank of China announced their plans to inject the equivalent of $21.7 in liquidity into the economy, as well as other measures amounting to $57 billion.
  • Despite the ongoing outbreak, the Chinese government stated its intention to honour its agreements for the first phase of its US trade deal, cutting tariffs on products such as automobiles, pork, soya beans, whiskey, and crude oil.
  • With reassurance from the Bank of Japan that it would be willing to intercede to counterbalance any global slowdown, the Nikkei 225 rose 2.7%. 

Europe 

  • News of trade war detente and Chinese central-banking salves cheered European markets, with the STOXX Europe 600 Index closing the week up 3.22%.
  • European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde commented that the ECB was running out of options to deal with global crises, citing the current state of low interest rates and low inflation.
  • The ECB, Bank of Japan, and four other central banks announced that they would meet in April during an International Monetary Fund conference to discuss the prospect of digital currencies. 
  • Equinor altered its emissions calculations to include output from fuel sold to customers in its carbon reduction targets. It has just emerged from a stronger than anticipated fourth quarter, with the opening of a major new oil field. 

North America 

  • The US stock market recovered somewhat, though the three major indexes closed lower on Friday, with greater optimism about the outlook for the global coronavirus outbreak and boosts from technology stocks.
  • The US Labor Department announced strong jobs numbers for January, as well as increases in earnings for wage-earners, and a higher labor-market participation rate. 

Other Markets

  • OPEC and OPEC+ members considered cuts to supply as oil suffered another fall. 
  • The MSCI Emerging Markets Index declined 0.7% on Friday, its worst day since August. 

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