At the very start of the year, the People’s Bank of China said that it would cut banks’ reserve requirement ratio by 50 basis points (for the eighth time since 2018). Its aim is to boost the real economy and free up liquidity in time for the Chinese New Year celebrations, which will start on 25 January.
After peaking in August on a wave of excessive optimism, gold prices consolidated without losing too much ground. The recent rally then pushed prices back above last summer’s high of USD 1,550/ounce, clearing the path to their 2012 high of USD 1,800.
Citigroup’s Eurozone Economic Surprise Index rose sharply in the last two months of 2019, reaching its highest level since February 2018. This suggests that eurozone growth will pick up in 2020, especially since the uncertainty surrounding both the trade war and Brexit has ebbed.
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To go deeper
The coronavirus death toll is increasing rapidly, and it's still hard to tell how the repercussions will compare to those of the SARS outbreak in 2003. While there will be a number of indirect impacts caused by the fear of contamination, discretionary consumer goods will remain the most directly affected sector, especially transport, hotel and tourism companies...
Consumer spending is holding up well in most countries, but the same cannot be said of manufacturing output, which has been waning almost everywhere. However, there are some early signs of a rebound. International trade should also pick up now that the USA and China have come to a truce. But geopolitical tensions have not totally disappeared, and we'll have to keep a...
The risk of a large-scale military confrontation between the US and Iran has faded. As we said last week, neither side seems to want a war. But Iran was expected to retaliate after the US army killed General Soleimani in a targeted strike ordered by Donald Trump. And Iran did indeed take action, although it was more a matter of saving face. Iran almost certainly made sure that no American lives were lost, as that would probably have put both countries on a warpath...