Global markets are clearly in deep risk-off mode today. In particular, with the sudden explosion in coronavirus cases in Italy (150 infections and 4 deaths), European stocks are suffering their biggest plunge since 2016. Italian stocks leads the decline, down -4.5%. South Korea is even worse (833 cases and 8 deaths) while KOSPI dropped -3.9%. Gold hits 7 year high at 1689 while WTI crude oil dives nearly -4%. DOW future is currently down more than -800 pts at the time of writing. US 10-year yield is down -0.0916 at 1.383, with 1.4% handle broken.

The currency markets is comparatively quiet. Yen, Dollar and Swiss Franc are currently the strongest ones. Canadian Dollar is the weakest, as pressured by falling oil prices. Sterling follows as the second weakest, and then Australian Dollar. Technically, USD/CAD’s pull back from 1.3329 should have completed at 1.3202 and retest of 1.3327/9 resistance zone should be seen next. Decisive break there will affirm near term bullishness for retesting 1.3664 medium term top. EUR/CHF is finally picking up downside momentum. Recent down trend should target 1.0394 projection level next.

In Europe, currently, FTSE is down -3.41%. DAX is down -3.97%. CAC is down -3.92%. German 10-year yield is down -0.056 to -0.485. Earlier in Asia, Japan was on holiday. Hong Kong HSI dropped -1.79%. China Shanghai SSE dropped -0.28%. Singapore Strait Times dropped -1.22%.

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German Ifo business climate rose to 96.1, economy seems unaffected by coronavirus developments

German Ifo Business Climate rose to 96.1 in February, up from 95.9, beat expectation of 96.0. Current Assessment index rose to 93.4, up from 92.9, beat expectation of 93.3. However, Expectations index dropped slightly to 98.9, down from 99.1, missed expectation of 99.0.

Clemens Fuest, President of the ifo Institute, said, “the German economy seems unaffected by developments surrounding the coronavirus. The survey results and other indicators suggest economic growth in the first quarter will amount to 0.2 percent.”

Looking at some details, manufacturing index rose from -1.6 to -1.3, staying negative for the eighth straight months. Services index dropped for the third month, down form 18.8 to 17.3. Trade index dropped form 2.2. to 1.0. Construction index dropped from 13.5 to 13.1.

Mnuchin: Coronavirus has no material pact on US-China trade deal phase 1

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in Reuters interview that outbreak of Wuhan Coronavirus in China is not going to have any material impact on US-China trade deal phase one. He said, “I don’t expect that this will have any ramifications on Phase 1. Based on everything that we know, and where the virus is now, I don’t expect that it’s going to be material.”

Though, he cautioned that “obviously that could change as the situation develops. Within the next few more weeks, we’ll all have a better assessment as there’s more data around the rate of the virus spreading.”

Meanwhile, the outbreak also delays the start of phase two negotiations. But Mnuchin isn’t worried about the time frame for now. “If we get the right deal before the election, that’s great. If we get the right deal after the election, that’s great. We don’t feel any pressure one way or another,” he said.

New Zealand retail sales rose 0.7% in Q4, ex-auto sales up 0.5%

New Zealand retail sales rose 0.7% qoq in Q4, slightly below expectation of 0.8% qoq. Ex-auto sales rose 0.5% qoq, below expectation of 0.9% qoq. Electrical and electronic goods retailing had the largest rise of all 15 industries in the December 2019 quarter. After adjusting for price and seasonal effects, the sales volume of electronics was up 4.3 percent, following a 4.4 percent rise in the September quarter.

Coronavirus explosion puts pressure on BoK easing

Explosion of coronavirus cases should further delay South Korea’s economic recovery, leading Bank of Korea to push forward the rate cut to as soon as this week. At the time of writing, number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Korea already hit 833, with 8 deaths. The government has declared the highest threat alert and President Moon Jae-in noted that the coming few days are critical to contain the outbreak.

The impact of the outbreak on Korea is twofold. First, Korea’s economy has great exposure in China. Second, the sudden explosion of infection cases in Korea would inevitably hurt sentiment and household consumption. Back at January BoK meeting, there were two members voting for a rate cut already. The outbreak of the coronavirus could lead more members to opt for further easing.

Even if the central bank decides to leave the policy unchanged, it would have to deliver a dovish message and hint a rate cut in coming months. We also expect BOK to cut its estimates on GDP growth and inflation for this year.

More in Sudden Explosion of Coronavirus Cases in Korea might Urge BOK to Cut Rate this Week

USD/CAD Mid-Day Outlook

Daily Pivots: (S1) 1.3195; (P) 1.3232; (R1) 1.3262; More….

USD/CAD’s break of 1.3278 minor resistance suggests that corrective fall from 1.3329 has completed. Intraday bias is turned back to the upside for 1.3327/29 resistance zone. Decisive break there should confirm completion of consolidation pattern from 1.3664. Further rise should be seen to retest 1.3664 high. On the downside, break of 1.3202 will extend the correction. But downside should be contained above 1.3104 resistance turned support to bring rebound.

In the bigger picture, price actions from 1.3664 (2018 high) is seen as a corrective move that has probably completed. Rise from 1.2061 (2017 low) might be ready to resume. Decisive break of 61.8% retracement of 1.4689 (2016 high) to 1.2061 at 1.3685 will pave the way to retest 1.4689 high. However, break of 1.3104 resistance turned support will extend the corrective with another fall through 1.2951 before completion.

Economic Indicators Update

GMT Ccy Events Actual Forecast Previous Revised
21:45 NZD Retail Sales Q/Q Q4 0.70% 0.80% 1.60% 1.70%
21:45 NZD Retail Sales ex Autos Q/Q Q4 0.50% 0.90% 1.80% 1.90%
09:00 EUR Germany IFO Business Climate Feb 96.1 96 95.9
09:00 EUR Germany IFO Expectations Feb 93.4 93.3 92.9
09:00 EUR Germany IFO Current Assessment Feb 98.9 99 99.1
13:30 CAD Wholesale Sales M/M Dec 0.90% 0.80% -1.20% -1.10%

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