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Market Update

The Fed cut interest rates by 50 basis points on Tuesday, its first emergency rate cut since the financial crisis and collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

The cut was a precautionary measure to help ease the potential impact that the recent outbreak of coronavirus may have on the economy.

The euro also hit its highest against the dollar since August, amid concerns that the European Central Bank can’t do anything to stop the differential between euro and dollar interest rates falling further.

Following the Fed’s rate cut the expectation was that other central banks would be shortly following suit. Yesterday the first domino fell with the Bank of Canada announcing its a 0.5% rate reduction taking the policy rate from 1.75% to 1.25.

The next major central bank meeting will be the European central bank on Thursday the 12th. Economists are torn whether the European Central Bank will unleash monetary stimulus next week.

Currently the expectation is for a 10bps rate cut at the meeting, also the potential for an increase in Quantitative easing. However, due to the position the ECB is in with a policy rate of -0.5% the bank has very little room to maneuver with only 60% of those surveyed predict ECB policy makers will refrain from lowering interest rates, with the rest predicting a cut.

With the Brexit negotiations commencing at the start of this week the European Union has stated that Britain is trying to weaken the EU’s position at trade talks by talking to individual member states. 

The European officials have urged EU governments not to hold a “parallel negotiation” with UK to prevent their negotiating stance from being undermined while a new trade agreement is being negotiated.

Key data releases today will be German Factory Orders, which measures the total change in orders placed at domestic manufacturers, with a forecast of -5.4% and Previously -8.7%.

The ECB is likely to print a surprisingly strong rise in German factory orders in January, which predated the scare over the coronavirus. 

The monthly change in employment excluding the farming sector in the US (Non-farm payrolls). The previous was 225k jobs created and the forecast is 175k.

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