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Asia Pacific policy action as COVID-19 concerns continue

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • As concerns about the impact of the coronavirus continued to spread, further action was taken by policymakers in Asia Pacific countries at the start of the week, with a 20bps cut by the PBoC on its reverse repo operations and a sizeable jobs protection package from the Australian government.

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Euro area solidarity still missing

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • While Japanese stocks rallied into the weekend, momentum in other major markets softened after EU leaders failed to rise to the occasion again, with Merkel and co. still refusing to countenance issuance of a common euro area bond.

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ECB boosts periphery bonds

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • While the Senate finally endorsed the $2trn US fiscal support package, and the ECB confirmed legally that it will not need to abide by its issuer and issue limits under its new PEPP programme, the market mood in Asia was more downbeat as Covid-19 took its toll on sentiment.

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Fed provides a fillip

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • While the flash March PMIs are signalling a deep contraction in global economic activity, the Fed’s commitment to buy an unlimited amount of USTs and agency MBS provided a fillip to Asian markets. 

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Over to fiscal policy

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • With the Asian market mood downbeat, and central banks, including the BoJ and RBNZ, upping their interventions to stabilise the markets, fiscal policy in the US and Germany will dominate attention at the start of the week.

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