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Africa and International Market Report: 23 March 2020
Africa and International Market Report: 23 March  2020

By - Jamel Lahiani

Posted - 23-03-2020

Last week, Wall Street wrapped up its worst week since October 2008, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sliding -16.75 percent amid tough restrictions imposed by New York and California to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus intensified worries about damage to the US economy.

China stocks finish the week by a rose, following other Asian markets, amid the country’s blue-chip index still posted its steepest weekly loss in 17 months on persisting worries over the economic damage from the coronavirus outbreak.

European shares ended the week on the decline, especially the DAX30 that lost 20 percent, as fears over the economic shock from the coronavirus quashed any optimism. However, a regional stimulus measure was devoted by the Bank of England and the European Central Bank to encourage the equity market last week. The ECB will eventually have to go further by keeping sovereign bond yields low for all governments at least for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

Oil and gas stocks finish the week on the decline by -29.6 percent touched a 24-year low earlier in the week. Crude prices were already pressured by concerns explained by the decline of the global demand and rivalry between producers especially Saudia Arabia and Russia.

Many economists suggested the global economy was already in recession due to the negative impact of coronavirus outbreak leading to increasing worries and market volatilities as occurred in the crude oil market.

The EUR/USD declined by -3.69 percent and closing last week at 1.06929, showing a stronger US dollar faces to the Euro more weakened by the coronavirus outbreak.

The selling pressure surrounding the major cryptocurrencies was limited last week leading Bitcoin (BTC/USD) to increases more than 9.28% and fluctuating around $5839.44 after a huge decline.

In African currency markets, The Nigerian NAIRA recognized small depreciation faces to the US dollar and closed the week at 365.00 US dollars. The South Africa ZAR declined faces to the US dollar by 8.19% and closed last week at 17.56090 US dollars.

The last week main markets prices and variations

Market in Focus: 23 March – 27 March 2020
We have a list of high impact events this week. The publication of the events can leads to a strong movement or a trend for the related currencies. The discussion of the events impacts will be done within the daily FOREX report.

The publications that have a very significant theoretic impact are:

  • EUR: The PMI monthly Composite Reports on Manufacturing and Services, released by Markit Economics, are based on a large number of business executives in private sector manufacturing and services companies. “Tuesday”.
  • GBP: The PMI service released by both the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply and the Markit Economics is an indicator of the economic situation in the UK services sector. ”Tuesday”.
  • USD: The number of New Home Sales released by the US Census Bureau is an important measure of housing market conditions. ”Tuesday”.
  • GBP: The Consumer Price Index released by the National Statistics is a measure of price movements by the comparison between the retail prices of a representative shopping basket of goods and services. ”Wednesday”.
  • USD: The Durable Goods Orders, released by the US Census Bureau, measures the cost of orders received by manufacturers for durable goods, which means goods planned to last for three years or more, such as motor vehicles and appliances.” Wednesday”.
  • GBP: The Monetary Policy Summary, released by BOE, contains the outcome of their vote on interest rates and other policy measures, along with commentary about the economic conditions that influenced their votes. ”Thursday”.
  • USD: The Initial Jobless Claims released by the US Department of Labor is a measure of the number of people filing first-time claims for state unemployment insurance. ” Thursday”.
  • USD: The Goods Trade Balance released by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau is the difference in value between imported and exported goods during a certain month. ” Thursday”.
  • USD: The Tokyo Consumer Price Index released by the Statistics Bureau is a measure of price movements obtained by comparison of the retail prices of a representative shopping basket of goods and services, excluding fresh food.” Friday”.


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