US Briefing - Wednesday 20.05
Headlines
  • Fed’s Rosengren: Unemployment To Remain Double-Digits
  • Trump Considers Brazil Travel Ban In Latest Sign Of Virus Woes
  • WH Adviser Hassett: Payroll Tax Cut ‘Absolutely’ Not Dead
  • Speaker Pelosi Moves To Revamp Business Rescue Program
  • US GOPs Demand Testimony Of WHO, China Ambassador
  • China Stands Pat On Benchmark Rate, Signals Easing Pause
  • EU Hardliners To Release Plan To Fund Economic Recovery
  • Eurozone Inflation Revised Down To Nearly Four-Year Low
  • UK Inflation Drops To Lowest Since 2016 As Pandemic Hits
  • UK Sells Negative Yielding Government Bonds For First Time
  • Oil Steady As Economic Worries Offset Firmer Demand Signs
  • Rolls-Royce Plans 9,000 Job Cuts On Collapse In Air Travel
Commentary
UK Inflation Plunges In April As Covid-19 Lockdown Hits Oil Prices

The UK’s main rate of inflation plunged to its lowest level in nearly four years on cheaper fuel and energy prices and another large decline in raw material costs.

 

Annual consumer price growth in April fell to 0.8pct from 1.5pct in March, and the core index slipped to 1.4pct from 1.6pct. The Office for National Statistics favoured reading—CPIH—printed 0.9pct year-on-year versus March’s 1.5pct. On the month, headline CPI fell two-tenths of a percent to -0.2pct in April.

 

Jonathan Athow, the deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the ONS, said: “While the coronavirus limited the availability of some goods and services, its effect on prices was more muted. Falling petrol and diesel prices, combined with changes to the domestic energy price cap were the main reasons for lower inflation in April.” (LiveSquawk – Continue Reading)

China's New Outbreak Shows Signs Virus Could Be Changing

Chinese doctors are seeing the coronavirus manifest differently among patients in its new cluster of cases in the northeast region compared to the original outbreak in Wuhan, suggesting that the pathogen may be changing in unknown ways and complicating efforts to stamp it out.

 

Patients found in the northern provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang appear to carry the virus for a longer period of time and take longer to recover, as defined by a negative nucleic acid test, Qiu Haibo, one of China’s top critical care doctors, told state television on Tuesday.

 

Cases in the northeast also appear to be taking longer than the one to two weeks observed in Wuhan to develop symptoms after infection, and this delayed onset is making it harder for authorities to catch cases before they spread, said Qiu, who is now in the northern region treating patients. (BBG – Continue Reading)

ECB Finally Hears EU’s Cavalry Coming To Its Aid In Crisis Fight

The European Central Bank is on the verge of finally getting proper help from politicians to fight the region’s economic battles, even if it stays alone on the front line for now.

 

The proposal by German and French leaders for a 500 billion-euro ($546 billion) aid package to help the European Union shake off the coronavirus pandemic is seen by analysts as a significant step toward a stronger common fiscal policy, complementing the euro’s monetary foundations.

 

That’s something ECB President Christine Lagarde and her predecessors have long craved. For starters, the central bank should have to step in less often to prevent debt crises. It should also be less exposed to legal battles that have cast a shadow over its bond-buying programs, and it could even get help hitting its inflation goal. (BBG – Continue Reading)

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