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LGT Navigator: Economic impact of coronavirus difficult to assess

February 11, 2020

Uncertainties regarding the economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic continue to grip the financial markets and pressure on the stock market indices increased at the beginning of the week. Later on Monday, Wall Street prices recovered and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq reached new record highs. Asian stock exchanges largely followed the positive indications from overseas, while the Tokyo stock exchange remained closed for a holiday. Today, the performance of US Federal Reserve Chairman Powell as well as another series of important company results are in the focus of attention.

Economic impact of Coronavirus difficult to assess

After public life in China was regionally extremely restricted by the coronavirus epidemic, the Chinese government is trying to normalize life by easing some restrictions. Factories, shops and schools reopened and production plants of Daimler, Ford or Tesla resumed work at the beginning of the week. Meanwhile, a team of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) met in Beijing to assess the situation. The number of deaths from coronavirus has risen to over 1 000 people and the number of cases of the disease now exceeds 40 000. In addition, the pathogen has now spread to at least 27 countries and regions.

US Federal Reserve Chairman Powell hearing in focus

Today at 4pm (CET), the statements of US Federal Reserve Bank President Jerome Powell in his semi-annual report to the Finance Committee of the US Congress are eagerly awaited. Investors are hoping for new clues about the Federal Reserve's future monetary policy stance, particularly with regard to the potential implications for the global economy of the Coronavirus.

Coronavirus clouds investors' economic outlook for the euro zone

According to the latest survey results of the German financial market analysis company Sentix, the economic outlook of the investors and analysts surveyed each month deteriorated again in February. Against the background of uncertainties regarding the economic impact of the Coronavirus, the economic index for the euro zone fell to 5.2 from 7.6 points at the beginning of the year after three consecutive increases in February. While the risk of negative effects on the global economy dampened sentiment, the strength of the US economy supported the global economy.

Trump's growing draft budget

In the draft budget for the financial year 2021, the administration of US President Donald Trump wants to spend more money on the military and space travel, while on the other hand the funds for social affairs, development aid and environmental protection are to be cut. It is highly unlikely that the draft budget will be implemented in the form desired by the government, as the budgetary right lies with parliament, where, as is well known, the Democrats in the House of Representatives have the majority.

Another major merger in the automotive industry?

Following the anticipated merger of the Italian-American car manufacturer Fiat Chrysler with the French Peugeot group PSA, another major merger in the industry seems to be on the horizon. The Swedish car manufacturer Volvo Cars and the Chinese car manufacturer Geely are to negotiate a merger. According to Geely, the talks are at an early stage. The combined company would have “the size, expertise and resources to lead the ongoing transformation of the automotive industry,” it said. Like Geely, Volvo has already been part of the Chinese Zhejiang Geely Holding Group since 2010.



Economic Indicators February 11

MEZ Country Indicator Last
10:30 UK GDP Q4 (q/q) +0.4%
10:30 UK Industrial Production (m/m) -1.2%
10:30 UK Industrial Production (y/y) -1.6%
16:00 US US Fed Powell Testamony   

Earnings Calendar February 11

Country Corporate Period
GE Daimler Y19
FR Air Liquide Q1



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