14 to 19 April: Earnings season and PMIs to drive global markets

Policymakers globally kept working on schemes to bolster their respective economies debilitated by the nCovid-19 pandemic. In the US, House Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin were optimistic about reaching a deal to top up funds in a loan programme aimed at helping small businesses stay afloat. In the Euro Area, central bank officials have held early talks with the European Commission on setting up a Eurozone bad bank that would take billions of euros in debt off banks’ balance sheets (according to the Financial Times’ report). Meanwhile, in China, the government announced it was selling another CNY 1tn (about USD 141.3bn) in bonds to ramp up payments for stimulus spending.

Oil prices extended their slide, falling to the lowest in more than two decades, as output cuts promises left investors unconvinced so far that the demand-supply imbalance could subside in the near term. In addition, crude oil storage capacity is quickly running out, according to the latest reports. As a result, WTI futures for May delivery fell to around USD 15/bbl (at the time of writing on Monday morning).

Looking forward, earnings season will provide investors with a look at just how much the pandemic has impacted businesses, as the global economic diary remains relatively empty for the week. In our view, there are two relevant macro datapoints this week: PMIs will be released for developed countries (including the US, Euro Area and the UK) and South Korea reveals its 1Q20 GDP statistics.

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