Here is what you need to know on Tuesday, March 24th:
The number of coronavirus cases worldwide has increased to 372,500, while the death toll is up to 16,381. In the US, the number of cases jumped to 41,700. Italy reported fewer cases and fewer deaths for a second consecutive day, although the numbers are still huge. Fear and uncertainty remain high, as the market could only speculate about the economic effects of the current crisis.
The US Federal Reserve announced its largest-ever easing package ahead of the US opening. The central bank said it would buy unlimited Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities in order to support the financial market. The central bank also established loan facilities, two to support credit to large employers, and another so-called TALF, the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, to support the flow of credit to consumers and businesses.
Wall Street bounced off early lows, but the three major indexes closed in the red, as despite Fed’s massive stimulus the US Senate failed to pass a stimulus package. Congress will likely continue to discuss it next Friday.
US Treasury yields edged lower, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note falling to 0.69% to finally settle at 0.78%.
The EUR/USD pair faltered at around 1.0830, finished the day with modest gains above 1.0700.
GBP/USD settled around 1.1500. UK PM Johnson addressed the nation after the US close. “I must give the British people a simple instruction, you must stay at home,” Johnson said. He also announced the UK would close all non-essential stores, while public gatherings with more than 2 people banned.
Japan will release the Jibun Bank Manufacturing PMI while Australia will publish the Commonwealth Bank’s indexes on manufacturing and services. All of them are preliminary estimates for March and may be early indicators of the results of European and US indexes to be out later in the day.