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Good morning. Oil rebounded from its wipeout, Kim Jong Un’s health is in focus and Europe’s earnings season is in full swing. Here’s what’s moving markets.
Historic Oil Crash
Monday was an historic day for the oil market: Crude crashed into negative territory for the first time ever, signaling the extreme disconnect between supply and demand as storage tanks brim to capacity and the coronavirus-led economic slowdown pushes demand to a standstill. Here’s three charts that sum up the meltdown, and here’s what negative oil really means. It’s also worth noting that the May contract in focus expires today, with the sell-off representing very short-term concerns. It rebounded back into positive territory this morning while the June contract rose above $21.
Kim Jong Un’s Health
The U.S. is seeking details about Kim Jong Un’s health after receiving information that the North Korean leader was in critical condition after undergoing cardiovascular surgery last week. The Trump administration wasn’t sure of Kim’s current condition, according to U.S. officials, though one said the White House was told that Kim had taken a turn for the worse. South Korea’s benchmark Kospi gauge fell on the news and U.S. and European futures are also lower.
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that he’ll sign an executive order temporarily suspending immigration into the United States in order to contain the spread of the virus, though he did not offer specifics, such as the time frame or the scope of who would be affected. Infection and death rates are continuing to improve in the U.S., as they are in Europe’s hardest hit countries like Italy and the U.K. Data released on Monday showed Britain’s daily recorded deaths at a two-week low. Here’s a map showing the state of lockdowns on this continent.
Clouded Earnings Picture
Europe’s first-quarter earnings season is under way, and you don’t need to look far for gloom: Strategists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. say updates are likely to to disappoint investors, even against tempered expectations. Just like in the U.S., executives here have been reluctant to give proper sales and profit forecasts under the shadow of Covid-19. Today we’ll get reports from German software giant SAP SE, consumer-goods group Danone SA, Primark owner Associated British Foods Plc and London Stock Exchange Group Plc.
The German ZEW survey is expected to show a continued hit to investor sentiment, while U.K. unemployment data for February is unlikely to yet show the devastating impact of the virus that’s expected in the months ahead. British parliament returns, mostly remotely, as bad news keeps coming for the pound.
What We’ve Been Reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.
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