young Asian woman wearing protection mask against Coronavirus in Wuhan at public train station.

 

  • Worst German industrial production drop since 2009
  • US employment rules the afternoon

 

There was a lot of speculation yesterday about the likely impact that Coronavirus will have on global growth. These situations are always a bit like the Y2K bug; lots of posturing and guesswork followed by some kind of outcome, by which time everyone has forgotten who predicted what. So it is safe hunting ground for media addicted commentators. Caveat emptor.

 

Tiny Earth globe over the surface covered with the multiple bank note bills symbolising the impact of Coronavirus on global growth

Tiny Earth globe over the surface covered with the multiple bank note bills symbolising the impact of Coronavirus on global growth

 

Concerns over Coronavirus strengthened the price of oil

Yesterday’s fears over Coronavirus caused some strengthening in the price of oil, a little bit of safe haven buying, strengthening the Yen and US Dollar and not a lot else. The USD did though, push the Pound down to $1.29 and the euro down to $1.0950.

 

Coronavirus fear bringing negativity in the Australian economy

The Coronavirus fear also caused the Reserve Bank of Australia to downgrade their growth forecasts for the Australian economy. The Aussie Dollar weakened on the news and, despite the Pound losing some ground elsewhere, the GBPAUD rate rose to 1.93.

 

 

Worst German industrial production drop since 2009

Part of that Euro move is also down to this morning’s announcement of a sharp drop in German industrial production. The 3.5% decline in January is the 8th in the last year and the largest monthly decline since 2009. That’ll add to the weight on the German authorities to get a deal done with the UK. Britain takes 6.6% of Germany’s exports and adds 2.6% to German GDP.

This will also add to the growing calls within German for the country to exit the EU. A Gerexit/Dexit or whatever you want to all it (maybe Gerout is the best option), would be the death knell for the EU and would remove the only other large scale contributor to the bloc.

 

Sterling stabilised on positive housing market report

Despite the Coronavirus fear, Sterling will have been stabilised this morning by a better than expected housing market report. The markets had expected just 3.0% growth in average house prices in the year to January but the actual number was 4.1% growth.

You can cite the Brexit bounce or the release of pent up demand or better than expected weather but it is still good news for the UK and for the direction of the Pound.

 

US employment rules the afternoon

This afternoon is all about the US employment report. There is an expectation that something like 150,000 fresh jobs will have been created in January (excluding the agricultural sector) and the US unemployment level is expected to have been maintained at 3.5%; a remarkably low level.

The USD really doesn’t need any more reasons to strengthen right now but this will boost it if the forecasts prove to be accurate.

 

Whose shoes?

And a mother in Ilkley, West Yorkshire was furious when she got home with a pair of school trousers for her son only to find that someone had sewn a label into them with another boys name on it. She complained and M&S were apologetic and obviously refunded her. Why that kid returned his trousers and they got resold is anyone’s guess but you would have though a kid called St Michael would have worn a bigger size.

 

New Restaurant

I dined at a new restaurant the other day. It’s called Karma. It’s odd but they don’t have menus. You just sit down and you get what you deserve.

 

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