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06.04.2020
08:10 PM


German Construction Activity Falls Most In 7 Years On Covid-19 Outbreak

Germany's construction activity decreased at the sharpest rate in seven years in March with declines in all sub-groups as firms cut jobs amid weaker demand due to the coronavirus outbreak, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Monday.

The Construction Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, fell to 42 from a 25-month high of 55.8 in February. A reading below 50 suggests contraction in activity. The construction sector shrunk for the first time in seven months. Housing activity logged its worst decline since March 2013, while commercial activity fell the most in over eight years. The deepest downturn in activity was witnessed in civil engineering that recorded its sharpest decline since early-2010.

New work declined at the steepest rate since February 2010. Construction employment fell most since December 2010, thus ending a survey-record sequence of continuous job creation stretching back to mid-2015.

Business expectations decreased the most in the survey's 20-plus-year history, to hit its lowest since late-2008, following the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Input price inflation remained solid, albeit slowing to a three-month low. "The near 14-point fall in the headline Construction PMI in March is somewhat comparable to those seen previously during times of inaccessible conditions on site during very heavy snowfall, in late-2010 and early-2012 for example, which gives some context as to the severity of the collapse in building activity brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak," IHS Markit Principal Economist Phil Smith said. "The difference now is that constructors aren't expecting a swift recovery - business confidence towards future activity has shown an unprecedented collapse and firms have begun cutting staffing numbers for the first time in almost five years."


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06.04.2020
07:25 PM


BDI Sees German Economy Shrinking 3-6% This Year On Covid-19 Disruption

The biggest euro area economy is set to shrink severely this year due to containment measures in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic, the industry group BDI said Monday.

Germany's gross domestic product is likely to decline 3 to 6 percent this year, if economic activity is interrupted for a maximum of six weeks, BDI said.

Global economic output is forecast to fall 3 percent, which will be the second fall in the past 50 years. In 2009, the world economy declined 1.7 percent.

In a best case scenario, the global trade will fall 3 to 5 percent, the BDI said.

A strong recession in the US, Europe and Japan can no longer be avoided this year, the group predicted. Eurozone and the EU is set to witness a 3-5 percent decline in output and the United States may see a 2-4 percent fall. The Japanese economy may shrink 1 to 3 percent, while China may log growth of up to 2 percent, the BDI said. The fiscal support and revitalization packages in the EU are still insufficient and further strong measures are required in may countries, the BDI said. Germany has advanced with a large package, it said.

The group urged a significant contribution at the supranational level in Europe. "After the quarantine exit, a long-term recovery program must begin," BDI said.


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06.04.2020
05:24 PM


Singapore Announces S$5.1 Bln Additional Stimulus On Covid-19 Shock

Singapore announced an additional S$5.1 billion (US$3.6 billion) stimulus to save jobs and protect the livelihoods of people amid the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic.

This is the third stimulus package, which was unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Monday, and covers wage subsidies and cash payout.

With the latest announcement, the government's response to COVID-19 will total S$59.9 billion or around 12 percent of GDP. The budget deficit is estimated to rise to 8.9 percent of GDP this year.

The government obtained President's in-principle support for a draw of up to S$17 billion from past reserves to finance its second package.

The central bank had eased its monetary policy last week as the city-state is expected to enter a deep recession due to the interruptions to economic activity caused by the outbreak of COVID-19.

"The primary aim of this Solidarity Budget is to take further steps to save jobs and protect the livelihoods of our people during this temporary period of heightened measures," Heng said.

"We will also help businesses preserve their capacity and capabilities, to resume activities when the circuit breaker is lifted," he added.

The wage subsidy for all firms was raised to 75 percent of gross monthly wages. The government's wage subsidy applies to 1.9 million local employees.

Further, foreign worker levy for the month of April is waived.

All adult Singaporeans will receive S$300 cash payout on the top of S$300 payment announced earlier.


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06.04.2020
05:14 PM


Pound Appreciates As Virus Spread Slows

The pound strengthened against its major counterparts in the European session on Monday, as investors cheered news of a slowdown in coronavirus deaths across Europe.

While Italy reported the fewest deaths in more than two weeks, France's daily death count from the novel coronavirus dropped in the past 24 hours and admissions into intensive care also slowed. Elsewhere in Spain, the death rate fell for the third straight day.

In the United States, President Donald Trump warned the country could be headed into its "toughest" weeks, but expressed hope the country was seeing a "levelling off" of the virus crisis.

News that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital has sent the Pound lower at the beginning of the new week.

The recovery came after housing minister Robert Jenrick said Johnson was fine and was expected to be back at 10 Downing Street soon.

Survey data from IHS Markit and Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply showed that the UK construction sector contracted at the steepest rate since April 2009 reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The construction Purchasing Managers' Index dropped to 39.3 in March from 52.6 in February. A score below 50 indicates contraction. The expected reading was 44.0.

The pound rose to 1.2327 against the greenback, after falling to 1.2210 at 8:00 pm ET. Immediate resistance for the pound is possibly seen around the 1.27 level.

The pound strengthened to a 6-day high of 134.53 against the yen, from a 4-day low of 132.53 hit at 5:15 pm ET. The pound is likely to challenge resistance around the 140.00 region.

Reversing from its early 5-day low of 1.1928 against the franc and a 4-day low of 0.8855 against the euro, the pound drifted higher to 1.2045 and 0.8765, respectively. The pound may seek resistance around 1.25 against the franc and 0.84 against the euro.


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06.04.2020
04:08 PM


Gold Prices Rise 1% As Dollar Stays Flat

Gold prices rose on Monday after the U.S. Labor Department's report on Friday showed that the economy shed 701,000 jobs in March, halting decade-long record of growth. Coronavirus fears also drove investors towards the safe-haven metal.

Spot gold rose about 1 percent to $1,634.99 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were up 1.1 percent at $1,663.00 per ounce.

U.S. employment plunged by 701,000 jobs in March after an increase of an upwardly revised 275,000 jobs in February.

Economists had expected employment to slump by 100,000 jobs compared to the addition of 273,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

The much bigger than expected decrease came as employment in the leisure and hospitality sector plummeted by 459,000 jobs, mainly in food services and drinking places. The jobless rate rose to 4.4 percent from 3.5 percent in February.

Meanwhile, the United States on Sunday entered one of the most critical weeks so far in the coronavirus crisis, with government officials warning that the death toll in places such as New York, Michigan and Louisiana was a sign of trouble to come in other states.


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06.04.2020
03:38 PM


Ireland Industrial Production Declines In February

Ireland's manufacturing output fell in February after rising in the previous month, figures from the Central Statistics Office showed on Monday.

Manufacturing output fell 1.1 percent month-on-month in February, after a 5.9 percent increase in January.

Industrial production decreased 1.3 percent monthly in February, after a 5.9 percent increase in the previous month.

On an annual basis, manufacturing output declined 1.3 percent in February, after a 0.5 percent increase in the previous month.

Industrial production fell 1.1 percent year-on-year in February, reversing a 1.2 percent rise in the previous month.

Data also showed that the industrial turnover declined 10.0 percent monthly in February and 6.0 percent from a year ago.


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06.04.2020
03:34 PM


UK Car Sales Decline Sharply As Showrooms Shutdown: SMMT

UK new car sales declined sharply in March as showrooms closed after the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, or SMMT, showed Monday.

Car registrations plunged 44.4 percent on a yearly basis. The decline was steeper than during the 2009 financial crisis and the worst March since the late nineties when the market changed to the bi-annual plate change system, the SMMT said.

In March, about 254,684 new cars were registered, with demand from private buyers and larger fleets falling by 40.4 percent and 47.4 percent, respectively.

The lobby downgraded its 2020 outlook to 1.73 million units -23 percent decrease from the previous outlook made in January. This was around 25 percent lower sales than seen in 2019.

"With the country locked down in crisis mode for a large part of March, this decline will come as no surprise," Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said.

"We should not, however, draw long term conclusions from these figures other than this being a stark realisation of what happens when economies grind to a halt," Hawes added.

How long the market remains stalled is uncertain, but it will reopen and the products will be there, said Hawes.


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06.04.2020
03:34 PM


Oil Prices Tumble On Oversupply Fears

Oil prices tumbled around 4 percent on Monday after a scheduled meeting between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies was delayed.

Benchmark Brent crude fell 3.6 percent to $32.88 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were down 4 percent at $27.20 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia and Russia were initially set to meet today to strike a deal to cut crude supply worldwide by at least 10 million barrels per day.

The meeting has now been postponed to April 9, but Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF told CNBC that the countries are "very, very close" to the deal.

Last week, oil prices posted their best week on record on hopes for a truce in the brutal oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

The two countries have been locked in an epic price war since early March after Russia rejected the 1.5 million barrels per day cut that Saudi Arabia had proposed in a bid to prop up falling oil prices.

At a press briefing on Sunday, U.S. President Donald Trump said if Saudi Arabia and Russia, two of the world's largest oil producers, couldn't cut a deal to end their oil price war he would impose "very substantial tariffs" on oil imports in order to protect U.S. jobs. At the same time, Trump downplayed using tariffs in the immediate future.


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06.04.2020
03:18 PM


Eurozone Investor Confidence Plummets To Record Low On Covid-19 Shock

Eurozone investor confidence sunk to a record low in April as the coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic spread across the globe forcing several countries to enforce lockdowns, survey data from the behavioral research firm Sentix.

The Sentix investor confidence index shed 25.8 points to reach an all-time low of -42.9. Economists had forecast a reading of -30.3.

"Without exception, all regions of the world are in a deep recession," Sentix said. "Never before has the assessment of the current situation collapsed so sharply in all regions of the world within one month."

"A fast, V-shaped recovery is unlikely," the think tank added. The survey was conducted between April 2 and 4 among 1,173 participants, of whom 268 were institutions. The headline index remained in negative territory for the second month in a row. The current situation index of the survey fell to a record low -66 from -14.3 in March. The monthly decline of 51.75 points is an absolute record since the beginning of the data collection in 2003, Sentix said. The situation is much worse than in 2009 and economic forecasts to date underestimate the shrinking process, Sentix said. "The recession will go much deeper and longer! There is an enormous need for revision in the already reduced forecasts of many institutes," the firm added.

The Euro area must prepare itself for a severe economic and social test, Sentix said. In contrast, the expectations measure climbed to -15.8 from -20 in the previous month. The investor confidence index for Germany fell to -36, its lowest level since March 2009. The current situation index dropped to -59, its weakest level since May 2009. The expectations measure climbed to -9 from -20.5. The investor confidence index for the USA plunged to -39.1 from 0.2 in March. The current situation index plummeted to -59 from 17.8. Both readings were lowest since 2009. The expectations measure fell to fell to -16.5, its lowest since October. In the Asia ex-Japan region, the investor confidence hit the lowest since December 2008, at -21.8. The current situation index fell to a record low -41.3. The expectations measure stagnated.


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06.04.2020
03:05 PM


*Ireland Mar Industrial Production -1.3% On Month Vs. +5.9% In February

Ireland Mar Industrial Production -1.3% On Month Vs. +5.9% In February


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06.04.2020
03:05 PM


*Ireland Mar Industrial Production -1.1% On Year Vs. +1.2% In February

Ireland Mar Industrial Production -1.1% On Year Vs. +1.2% In February


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06.04.2020
02:53 PM


German Factory Orders Decline Less Than Expected

Germany's factory orders declined at a slower-than-expected pace in February on robust domestic demand as the initial impact of the coronavirus pandemic was mild, data from Destatis revealed Monday.

Factory orders fell 1.4 percent month-on-month in February after rising by a revised 4.8 percent in January. Orders were expected to fall 2.5 percent after January's initially estimated 5.5 percent decrease.

Domestic orders grew 1.7 percent, while foreign demand fell 3.6 percent in February from the previous month. New orders from the euro area dropped 5 percent and those from other countries decreased 2.7 percent.

The economy ministry said orders slumped in March and April due to the global economic shock caused by the coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic.

"In pre-Covid-19 days, German industry had already been in a free fall," Carsten Brzeski, an ING economist said. "The very tentative signs of a bottoming out at the turn of year currently seem far far away."

As Covid-19 affects the economy through multiple channels, the latest industrial orders data look to be "just another eerie calm before the storm", the economist added.

On a yearly basis, factory orders grew 1.5 percent in February, in contrast to a 0.8 percent drop in January. Economists had forecast a marginal drop of 0.2 percent.

Data showed that manufacturing turnover edged up 0.1 percent in February, but was slower than the 1.1 percent increase seen in January.

Elsewhere, survey data from the ifo Institute showed that business expectations in the automobile industry declined sharply in March. The corresponding index fell to -33.7 from -19.7 in February.

The survey showed that export expectations in the industry plunged to the lowest since March 2009.

On Monday, the industry group BDI predicted that the Germany economy is set to shrink 3-6 percent this year.


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06.04.2020
02:33 PM


*BDI: German Economy To Shrink 3-6% This Year

BDI: German Economy To Shrink 3-6% This Year


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06.04.2020
02:12 PM


Eurozone Investor Confidence At Record Low

Eurozone investor confidence fell to a record low in April as the coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic spread across the globe, results of a survey by the behavioural research institute Sentix showed Monday.

The Sentix investor confidence index shed 25.8 points to reach an all-time low of -42.9. Economists had forecast a reading of -30.3.

"Without exception, all regions of the world are in a deep recession," Sentix said. "Never before has the assessment of the current situation collapsed so sharply in all regions of the world within one month."

The survey was conducted between April 2 and 4 among 1,173 participants, of whom 268 were institutions. The headline index remained in negative territory for the second month in a row. The current situation index of the survey fell to a record low -66 from -14.3 in March. In contrast, the expectations measure climbed to -15.8 from -20 in the previous month.


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06.04.2020
01:50 PM


UK Construction Activity Falls At Fastest Pace Since 2009

The UK construction sector contracted at the steepest rate since April 2009 reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, survey data from IHS Markit and Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply showed Monday.

The construction Purchasing Managers' Index dropped to 39.3 in March from 52.6 in February. A score below 50 indicates contraction. The expected reading was 44.0. Respondents overwhelmingly attributed reduced activity to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey showed that all three broad categories of construction work recorded a fall in output in March. Civil engineering activity posted the steepest rate of decline, followed closely by commercial building work. Residential activity dropped at a comparatively moderate pace in March.

As measures to contain the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic were put in place across the UK, construction sites closed and builders lost their jobs on a frightening scale as overall activity fell to an extent not seen since April 2009, Duncan Brock, Group Director at the CIPS, said.


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06.04.2020
01:47 PM


*UK Mar Construction PMI 39.3 Vs. 52.6 In Feb, Consensus 44.0

UK Mar Construction PMI 39.3 Vs. 52.6 In Feb, Consensus 44.0


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06.04.2020
01:44 PM


*France Mar Construction PMI 35.2 Vs. 50.2 In February

France Mar Construction PMI 35.2 Vs. 50.2 In February


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06.04.2020
01:41 PM


*Amended: Germany Mar Construction PMI 42.0 Vs. 55.8 In February

Amended: Germany Mar Construction PMI 42.0 Vs. 55.8 In February


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06.04.2020
01:38 PM


*Italy Mar Construction PMI 15.9 Vs. 50.5 In February

Italy Mar Construction PMI 15.9 Vs. 50.5 In February


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06.04.2020
01:36 PM


Euro Ticks Down After Eurozone Sentix Investor Confidence Index

At 4.30 am ET Monday, Eurozone Sentix investor confidence data has been released. The euro edged down against its major rivals after the data.

The euro was trading at 1.0795 against the greenback, 117.82 against the yen, 1.0554 against the franc and 0.8782 against the pound around 4:32 am ET.


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06.04.2020
01:34 PM


Pound Little Changed After UK Construction PMI Data

At 4.30 am ET Monday, UK Markit/CIPS construction PMI data has been released.

After the data, the pound changed little against its major rivals. The pound was trading at 1.2295 against the greenback, 134.14 against the yen, 1.2015 against the franc and 0.8787 against the euro around 4:32 am ET.


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06.04.2020
01:34 PM


*Eurozone Mar Construction PMI 33.5 Vs. 52.5 In February

Eurozone Mar Construction PMI 33.5 Vs. 52.5 In February


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06.04.2020
01:32 PM


*UK Mar Construction 39.3 Vs. 52.6 In Feb, Consensus 44.0

UK Mar Construction 39.3 Vs. 52.6 In Feb, Consensus 44.0


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06.04.2020
01:32 PM


*Eurozone Apr Sentix Investor Confidence -42.9 Vs. -17.1 In Mar, Consensus -30.3

Eurozone Apr Sentix Investor Confidence -42.9 Vs. -17.1 In Mar, Consensus -30.3


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06.04.2020
01:28 PM


Pound Climbs Ahead Of UK Construction PMI Data

At 4.30 am ET Monday, UK Markit/CIPS construction PMI data is due. Economists forecast the index to fall to 44.0 in March from 52.6 in February.

Ahead of the data, the pound advanced against its major rivals. The pound was worth 1.2291 against the greenback, 134.14 against the yen, 1.2010 against the franc and 0.8793 against the euro as of 4:25 am ET.


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