The global financial crisis of 2008-2009 is now used as a template for forecasting and developing investment strategies for various assets. However, the nature of the previous and current crisis caused by the outbreak of coronavirus is fundamentally different. The latter is more likely a natural disaster, after which the economy usually recovers quickly. Therefore, it is hardly worth surprising that the number of supporters of the U-shaped growth of US GDP is increasing. If this really happens, then it's too early to buy American stocks, as well as selling greenbacks.
The growth of the S&P 500 index by more than 20% of the March minimum suggests that large-scale measures to support the US economy, proposed by the White House and the Fed, somewhat calmed the financial markets. However, stocks are still in a vulnerable position. Market participants may be scared by the news about the worsening epidemiological situation in the United States, as well as reports that the country government is not able to transfer financial incentives to business quickly enough.
The decline in the S&P 500 is fraught with the resumption of sales of EUR / USD. The volatility of the main currency pair in 2020 increased sharply. At the same time, the costs of short-term hedging of currency risks are now lower than the long-term ones. On one hand, investors believe that monetary incentives from the Fed and the ECB are bearing fruit, while on the other, they still worry about the future.
The chief economic adviser to the US president, Larry Kudlow, believes that the US economy is able to return to full capacity within four to eight weeks. Meanwhile, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned of a high probability that US GDP would fall by 38% or more in the second quarter, with unemployment in the country showing the same sharp increase. In his opinion, the key factor will be the duration of the current crisis, which is more similar to a natural disaster than to the Great Depression.
While many investors are looking for signs of the pandemic's further outbreak, they realize that it will not be easy for the world to get rid of the coronavirus. Even after a sharp decrease in the number of infected and the mortality rate, implementation of testing and monitoring mechanisms will be required, as well as maintaining social distance, albeit on a much smaller scale than at present. In addition, companies and people should have confidence that they can return to work without the risk of infection.
At the same time, they are not excluding the probability of a second wave of the pandemic in the fall, which creates the prerequisites for maintaining increased volatility in the financial markets and forces investors to keep the US dollar and other protective assets in their portfolios.
The EUR / USD pair fell below 1.0900 amid the fact that the number of new cases of coronavirus infection on both sides of the Atlantic marked new record highs.
Pressure on the couple was also exerted by the news that the EU finance ministers could not reach an agreement on economic measures to deal with the crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. After a sixteen-hour discussion, Eurogroup President Mario Centeno announced that negotiations would continue on Thursday.
According to experts, this situation brings us back to the era of debt problems in Greece and Spain, which almost cost the region of unity and lowered the EUR / USD quotes by 30%. Investors fear that the EU countries did not make the main conclusion from the situation of that time: a quick solution reduces the final price.
Specialists at TD Securities predict a sharp decline in the eurozone economy in the coming months.
"Given that the difference in growth rates between US and European GDP accounts for about half of the reasons for the EUR / USD rate to change, we expect the euro to test the $1.05 mark in the second quarter. Although politicians have been able to slow down the US dollar rally, we prefer to take a long USD position until the COVID-19 pandemic reaches a peak and global growth signals become positive," they said.
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