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Déjà vu – Worldwide Equities lower again

Published February 26, 2020

Author Rowan Murphy

Yet again worldwide equities were substantially off while US 10 Year treasuries traded at the record low as fears continue to mount around the potential global impacts that COVID-19 could bring if it transforms into a Pandemic.

The latest bout of fear comes on the heels of the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention who have now warned citizens to prepare for an ‘inevitable’ outbreak of the coronavirus within the United States. This heightened vigilance in the US comes as countries such as Iran, Italy and South Korea announced large jumps in the number of reported cases, even as the spread seems to be coming under control in China. Croatia, Switzerland, Spain and Austria are the newest countries to report their first cases of the virus as it continues to march unabated across Europe and the globe.

US consumer confidence, released at 2am this morning, printed slightly lower than expected at 130.7 vs a forecast of 132.6. Although lower than expected this was marginally higher than January’s release which was 130.4 providing some evidence of a potentially stable consumer base in the US.

Economic data (although not much of it this week) is taking a back seat as focus for markets remains on the ‘what ifs’ surrounding the spread of COVID-19. Last night saw equities around the world in the RED with the S&P 500 down 2.5%, the DAX, CAC 40 and FTSE down 1.9%, bucking its recent trend was the price of Gold with the yellow metal seemingly running into some profit taking, falling 0.5%.

With nothing of importance (Construction Work Done q/q is released at 11:30am) being released today the focus again will be on COVID-19 announcements. Futures are showing the ASX should again open lower to the tune of 2.5%. Risks to the AUD remain toward the downside.