‘London lockdown imminent to slow coronavirus outbreak’. The UK’s capital is facing a period of lockdown, potentially in place before the weekend, following the closure of schools in a bid to tackle the spread of coronavirus. Restrictions in London could be tougher than the rest of the UK because it is further ahead of the curve on the outbreak. The number of UK cases and deaths due to coronavirus has jumped in the past 24 hours and a shutdown of London would echo measures taken in other European capitals. Restrictions could include the closure of transport systems and major shopping areas, with only supermarkets and pharmacies allowed to continue operating. (Financial Times)
‘ECB to launch €750bn bond-buying programme’. Last night, the European Central Bank held an emergency call of its rate setting committee, in response to worsening economic conditions caused by the pandemic.The committee announced their plans to buy an additional €750bn in bonds this year, incorporating both sovereign and corporate debt. The latest package goes with last week’s €120bn extra purchases. (Financial Times)
Dollar demand was the order of the day once more yesterday, as both Gold and the Yen were sold off, propelling a measure of the Dollar’s value to an all-time high. The Aussie and Kiwi currencies fell over 3% each, whilst Sterling was over 5% down on the Greenback at its worst point yesterday. Overnight, S&P 500 and FTSE 100 futures moved deep into the red.
USD: Philly Fed Manufacturing for the month of March is due to plummet from 36.7 down to 9.5. A figure below zero would indicate worsening conditions.