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PBoC, Inflation and Jobless Claims - Week ahead

The markets continue to grapple with the immediate effects of the Coronavirus. The second wave in pockets of the world has forced cities to take active measures to control the virus. Melbourne, Australia has gone into a secondary lockdown while Florida and Los Angeles see cases surge, with the Mayor of Los Angeles stating that the city is “on the brink” and a Democratic representative from Florida reports the outbreak is “totally out of control.” Here is your week ahead

Monday, 20 July – Peoples Bank of China Interest Rate decision

PBoC's Interest Rate

China’s Central Bank, the Peoples Bank of China has been wary of cutting interest rates, even during the peak of the pandemic. Ma Jun, a PBOC adviser, stated in early April, “The PBOC doesn’t use its bullets all at once. China has plenty of room in monetary policy.” The PBOC has kept interest rates at 3.85%, after dropping it 30 basis points from 4.05% in April. However, forecasts and estimates expect the PBoC to keep rates as is at 3.85% this week ahead.

Tuesday, 21 July – Inflation rate YoY Bank of Japan

With 660 new cases of the Coronavirus yesterday, Japan has struggled to keep ahead of the virus after the world praised it for its lighter approach to restrictions. However, that approach, as seen similarly from Australia, has not bode well for the country. Japan has seen triple-digit daily increases for the whole month of July. This has caused consumption and spending to decrease dramatically. Analysts predict an inflation rate of 0.1%; however, there is a high chance that this may be pushed to the downside, which may put downward pressure on the JPY.

 Tuesday, 21 July – Reserve Bank of Australia minutes

Australia is continuing to grapple with the effects of the Coronavirus, with Melbourne being put back into lockdown and the state of Victoria imposing mandatory mask restrictions. With RBA minutes earlier in the year having a tone of optimism, likely, that tone will not continue here. The second lockdown is a massive blow to the country, socially and economically. The Trans-Tasman bubble between New Zealand and Australia has been delayed, with economic activity in the state of Victoria plummeting. We may see Aussie weakness against its New Zealand counterpart as Australia reels back their reopening.

 Thursday 21st July – Canada Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Canada continues to post double-digit daily Coronavirus cases as they, too, implemented a looser lockdown restriction like Japan and Australia.  We saw a drop in the CPI from March to April as citizens decreased their spending. We saw a slight increase in the Month of May, however, analysts expect to stabilize around 137 for the month of June.

Thursday 23 July, US Initial Jobless Claims

US Initial Jobless claims. Source: Bloomberg

With Initial Jobless Claims posting the smallest decline since March last week, the US jobs market is showing a slight rebound. However, we are all aware of the current situation with the Coronavirus cases in the US. Florida and Los Angeles are posting daily record numbers every week, while President Donald Trump focuses on reopening the economy and the US-China trade deals. I expect this number to slowly creep up as the full effects the second wave of the Coronavirus becomes evident. Analysts predict Jobless Claims to drop to 1.29m from 1.3m previously.

We have seen this mindset in the market, which discounts negative news and rallies on positive news. This is partially due to liquidity propping up many markets. Investors and traders must take this into account when placing trades.

Trade safe!

Melbourne, Australia re-enters a six-week lock down

Melbourne, a major city in Victoria, Australia, has forced residents to re enter a six-week lockdown. This is after the major city reported 191 new cases of the novel Coronavirus, with double-digit case growth in the past couple of days.

Melbourne's cases have reached "unacceptable" levels, prompting lockdown

Daniel Andrews, Premier for Victoria, stated that the new restrictions were due to the “unacceptably” high number of cases. Furthermore, he also stated that “it is simply impossible, with case rates at these levels to have enough contract tracing staff to have enough physical resources to suppress and contain the virus without taking significant steps” Furthermore, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton stated that there was a “unanimous view” on the increase in restrictions in Melbourne. Victoria has also imposed to close off the NSW-Victoria border, with over 1,000 soldiers and police officers making their way to reinforce the border.

It is stated that a partial reason to why there has been a resurgence of cases in the state of Victoria and Melbourne in particular, is due to their opting of contracting security firms to regulate the quarantine. In comparison, this is opposed to enlisting the police force like many states in Australia and countries around the world. There have allegedly been security lapses with security guards sleeping with guests hotel guests who were staying due to a mandatory quarantine after arrival into the country.

Melbourne's second lockdown may be detrimental to Australia's recovery

Melbourne and its second lockdown comes back to bite critics who saw New Zealand’s lockdown overly strict in comparison to Australia, touting that Australia has been achieving similar results with fewer restrictions on their citizens. ACT party leader, David Seymour in April that Australians are being “treated like adults” by their Government and are achieving “better results.” Furthermore, he stated that “Australia appears to have its cake and eating it too, as it achieves better COVID-19 health outcomes than New Zealand with fewer restrictions on economic activity.”

Coronavirus Cases in Australia and New Zealand. Australia in red on the right axis, New Zealand in blue on the left axis.

However, as time has shown, New Zealand’s stricter approach has paid better dividends even with the higher initial economic cost. IBISWorld has stated that “the overall recovery of the Australian economy is expected to be significantly hindered by the second lockdown.” The state of Victoria contributed 24% of Australia’s GDP in 2019. The ASX and AUD are down 0.89% and 0.14% on the lockdown news, respectively.

ASX and AUD down in the past two days

We can see that the Coronavirus continues to grapple the world economically and politically. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro saw the Coronavirus as the “little flu” and frowned upon social distancing measures, stating, “we’ll all die one day.” He has now tested positive for the Coronavirus. He would be the second head of Government to test positive for the novel Coronavirus, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson having contracted Coronavirus earlier this year. Furthermore, with no formal Coronavirus plan, President Donald Trump administration grappled with re-opening the US economy amongst an election in September. Jacdina Adern has faced major criticism over lapses in security regarding mandatory quarantine and increases in taxes amongst significant government borrowings.

A vaccine for the Coronavirus would be required to provide stability in the economy, as countries with relatively successful Coronavirus plans are still struggling with the effects and aftermath of the virus.