- Stocks, oil, and Treasury yields rebounded on Friday as investors cheered central banks for boosting liquidity and hoped for a coronavirus rescue package in the US.
- Central banks in Norway, Japan, and Australia cut interest rates, bought government bonds, or took other expansionary measures.
- The US House of Representatives is expected to vote on legislation that improves unemployment benefits, ensures free virus testing, guarantees 14 days of paid sick leave, and helps poorer Americans as well as small- and medium-sized businesses.
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Stocks, oil, and Treasury yields recovered from Thursday’s historic sell-off on Friday, as central bankers took action and US lawmakers moved closer to passing sweeping measures to combat the economic impacts of coronavirus.
Norway’s central bank cut interest rates and boosted market liquidity, the Bank of Japan purchased billions’ worth of government bonds, and the Reserve Bank of Australia injected almost $6 billion into the nation’s financial system, the Financial Times reported.
Moreover, the US House of Representatives is expected to vote within hours on a rescue package expected to include better unemployment benefits, free virus testing, 14 days of guaranteed paid sick leave, tax credits to help small-and medium-sized businesses, and support for food assistance programs and Medicaid, the New York Times reported.
Hopes of coordinated global action to combat coronavirus fueled the relief rally. However, analysts were skeptical that it would last.
“Markets are screaming for more,” Michael Every, senior Asia-Pacific strategist at RaboResearch, said in a research note.
“It seems like there is nothing the policymakers can do to stop bleeding,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank, said in a morning note.
“There is little alternative to letting the knife hit the ground,” she added.
Here’s the market roundup as of 10:05 a.m. in London (6:05 a.m. in New York):
- European equities rallied, with Germany’s DAX up 3.4%, Britain’s FTSE 100 up 4.4%, and the Euro Stoxx 50 up 4%.
- Asian indexes closed lower. China’s Shanghai Composite fell 1.2%, South Korea’s KOSPI slumped 3.4%, Japan’s Nikkei dropped 6%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.3%.
- US stocks are set to open higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq rose between 4% and 4.8%.
- Oil prices rose strongly, with West Texas Intermediate up 5.1% at $33.10 a barrel and Brent crude up 5.4% at about $35.
- The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield rose to 0.90%.
- Bitcoin plunged below $4,000 overnight, before rebounding to about $5,750.