Sales on world markets gave way to purchases amid aggressive monetary easing by leading central banks and equally powerful fiscal stimulus by national governments.
The White House and the US Senate finally agreed on a stimulus package worth $2 trillion. The plan provides for an increase in unemployment benefits, direct payments to taxpayers and financing of enterprises that have been hit hard by the coronavirus epidemic.
Health crisis - the harbinger of economic collapse?
The optimism of investors is fueled by the extraordinary scale of support that the Congress and the US Federal Reserve promise the national economy.
At the same time, the markets are in contrast to the economic news, which marks the failure of data on business activity. In March, purchasing managers' indexes collapsed at a record pace everywhere from Australia and Japan to Western Europe, as countries closed in quarantine to curb the spread of the disease. Updated data on business activity in March and April statistics may be even worse, risking turning the health crisis into an economic collapse.
The decisive and rapid steps taken by the government and central banks clearly show that they have done their best to correct mistakes by examining the adverse consequences of delay. However, the main mistake of the great depression was the false belief that the worst was over.
Markets have assessed the scale of the stimulus package in the US. However, their view on whether this money will be enough may change dramatically if the situation deteriorates further.
For a stable recovery of markets, one of two things must happen: smoothing the growth curve of the number of people infected with coronavirus, or developing an effective vaccine. None of these scenarios is feasible by April 12: this is the date US President Donald Trump chose to ease restrictions on local businesses that are not socially significant.
According to experts, even though the Fed is ready to resort to even more serious measures, it is now difficult for the regulator to reach all the problem points, since the coronavirus has affected almost all areas of the economy.
Therefore, in the near future, investors may face a series of terrifying reports on key US macro indicators, which will support the dollar as a safe haven currency.
While stocks are jubilant, the safe-haven dollar remains under pressure.
"As more countries take draconian measures to block their economies, the global economy will be severely constrained in the near future, and markets may quickly return to risk – averse mode," said Ulrich Leuchtmann of Commerzbank.
The worst for the euro is yet to come.
Despite the fact that the pandemic in Europe is growing, the euro is trading in the black against the US dollar for the fifth day in a row on expectations that the latest round of stimulus will calm panic in the markets.
Against the background of continuing dollar sales, the EUR/USD pair reached weekly highs, rising above the 1.09 mark.
Meanwhile, the IFO data for Germany was revised down. Many EU countries face shortages of supplies and medical equipment. Spain has overtaken China in the number of deaths from coronavirus. Italy did this a week ago. It is obvious that Europe is heading for a deep recession, and euro bonds will not help here. For these reasons, we should expect a reversal of the single currency.
The Bundesbank has already warned that a recession is inevitable even with the government's stimulus package.
On Wednesday, the lower house of the German Parliament suspended the rules for limiting the debt burden and approved a debt-funded additional budget of €156 billion euros to support the national health sector and keep local companies afloat.
Earlier, the EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council approved for the first time in history a proposal by the European Commission to suspend the basic document of the eurozone - the Stability and Growth Pact - to support the region's economy in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to some analysts, the suspension of the pact actually means abandoning the policy of budgetary discipline. There are fears that the situation of 2008-2009 may be repeated, when European governments spent several trillions of euros to save their banks from bankruptcy in the context of the global financial crisis. This led to an uncontrolled increase in debt and budget deficits of the currency bloc countries in early 2010, pushing Greece to the brink of default, followed by Cyprus, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy. Thus began the acute crisis of sovereign debt in the euro area, which for several years called into question the very existence of the single European currency.
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