Morning Report – Monday 29 March
Jon Robson, Head of Trading
“News that Germany has prolonged lockdown measures until 18th April after France imposed restrictions have fuelled concerns about the future of the Eurozone economy, with the common currency heading for its worst month since mid-2019. The euro’s recent resilience to the dollar’s strength continues to be challenged even as long-term U.S. yields have lost some upward momentum.”
A huge container ship that has been stuck across the Suez Canal for almost a week has been freed from the shoreline. Shoei Kisen Kaisha, the Japanese company that owns the ship, said refloating was “near” after salvage experts managed to change the angle of the vessel. That could mean that a higher tide expected over the next few hours could further improve the situation, allowing the ship to be fully freed and angled back on to its original course. News of the breakthrough sent oil prices lower.
A trade deal between the UK and the US is unlikely to be completed before 2023. Biden’s administration is focused on other priorities such as China and investing in domestic programs to boost the U.S. economy, and his legal power to fast-track a trade accord through Congress is due to expire on July 1. That power is unlikely to be renewed in the next two years because the midterm elections in 2022 will make trade legislation politically too sensitive to pass.
Sterling is weaker versus most major currencies this morning. Starting today, six people, or two households, can gather outdoors and outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts will be allowed to reopen. Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine will be rolled out in the UK from next month, culture secretary Oliver Dowden has confirmed, as the government reiterated its concern about rising cases on the continent.
The euro is lower against the dollar and higher against the pound overnight. Angela Merkel has attacked the leaders of Germany’s regions, saying they should not be moving to reopen their economies and raising the prospect of nationwide curfews to slow the spread of coronavirus. Slovakia’s prime minister Igor Matovic said he would swap jobs with the finance minister in a bid to end a crisis that had threatened to break up his coalition government.
The dollar is stronger against most majors in the early morning trade. Biden plans to split up his next big government-spending push into two programs. He will unveil the framework for a major infrastructure-and-jobs program on Wednesday in Pittsburgh, offering the first glimpse of his 2022 budget later in the week. It is expected that federal funds will be redirected to areas such as climate change and health care.
Shares in Japan climbed despite a record plunge in Nomura Holdings Inc., which warned of a possible “significant” loss that people familiar with the matter said was related to the unwinding of trades by Archegos Capital Management LLC. A gauge of Asia-Pacific shares was modestly higher, and Hong Kong’s benchmark dipped. U.S. equity futures declined following revelations that Archegos — the family office of Bill Hwang — was behind a spree of block trades, selling Chinese tech giants and U.S. media firms. Credit Suisse Group AG said it and a number of other banks are exiting positions after a hedge fund defaulted on margin calls. European equity futures were marginally in the green. West Texas Intermediate crude was more than 2% lower. 10-year U.S. Treasury yields slipped.
Main Economic Data/Central Banks/Government (All Times CET)
10:30 a.m.: U.K. Feb. Mortgage Approvals
12:00 p.m.: Ireland Feb. Retail Sales
2:50 p.m.: France sells bills
England eases some lockdown restrictions
Earnings include BYD, Butterfly Network, Seer, Danimer, Canoo