Queensway Blog

News / Analysis

Finance Update – UK Not Canada



As news arrives that the number of new corona cases outside China has overtaken the number of new cases inside its source nation, Chinese equities closed up this morning, led by the Shenzhen’s 1%. The Hang Seng, on the other hand, fell 0.84% and the Nikkei – 2% on a steadily rising Yen.

The NZD lost another 9 pips last night on a disappointing business confidence index – -19.4 alongside a 5% drop in the activity outlook marker to 12% but an improvement in the nation’s trade deficit.

And moving the border westward, Saudi Arabia this morning announced it was suspending all religious pilgrimages due to corona fears. The Tadawul index fell 40 points on the announcement.


European indices showed a slight improvement upon closing yesterday, led by Italy’s FTSE-MIB – a 1.44% gain. Again, futures tell a more sombre story, DAX futures down 300 points from yesterday’s closing.

France in February saw consumer confidence level at 104, while Italy’s non-EU trade balance fell from a €5.77bn surplus in December to a €0.28bn deficit in January.

The pound yesterday fell to the bottom of its weekly range after EU negotiator Michel Barnier said that London would not receive the same trade conditions as Canada.


Stock markets yesterday straddled the zero mark upon closing last night, as futures this morning bounce off support – 8710 for the NASDAQ (200 points down overnight), 3060 for the S&P (100 points down).

New home sales in January surprised to the upside at 764K units, while mortgage applications for February increased by 1.5%. The number declined by 6.4% the month before.


Despite the corona panic, Bitcoin has strongly plunged below the 9K mark, disappointing those who consider the asset a potential safe-haven to battle gold. That metal, after peaking at 1690 when the week began, has been ranging between 1630 and 1660.

Oil stemmed its downfling yesterday after the EIA announced a mere 452mB increase in stocks. At 47.96, the commodity is currently at a 13-month low.


Disney stock fell yesterday 2.5% after the announcement of CEO Bob Iger’s retirement. The Street has the asset currently in a wedge that predicts a further 8% drop.

Meanwhile, in response to Morgan Stanley’s announcement this week that it would purchase online brokerage Etrade, Goldman Sachs yesterday said they were considering a similar proposal for UBS’ US retail banking operations.

Microsoft stock lost 0.86% after issuing a warning to investors yesterday that it would probably not meet its Q1 revenue targets, this due to Corona-related issues, including Chinese manufacturing. It is the 3rd major firm to take such action, after Apple and Mastercard.


09:00 AM GMT EU Consumer, business, industrial & economic sentiment.
01:30 PM GMT US Personal expenditures (prel. Q4), Durable Goods (Jan)GDP (prel. Q4), and Jobless Claims (Feb). Pending Home Sales (Jan) at 3 PM.
11:30 PM GMT Japan CPI (Feb), Retail Trade (Jan), Industrial Production (Jan) & Foreign bonds/stocks investments (Feb). Construction (Jan) at 5 AM
00:01 AM GMT (+1) UK Consumer Confidence (Feb)
00:30 AM GMT (+1) AUD Private Sector Credit (Jan)