perspectives d’investissement

    COVID-19: Daily Dashboard

    COVID-19: Daily Dashboard

    As the Covid-19 pandemic evolves, this summary will move to twice-weekly publication, on Mondays and Thursdays, starting 20 April. We will also add a macro recovery dashboard, monitoring progress in lifting lockdowns globally and highlighting the impact on economic sectors

    Three levels of response to contain the current shock to H1 2020, limit defaults, and avoid an unemployment spiral

    • A public health response: to contain the spread, gain time to avert overrun hospitals, ramp up testing and prevent “new waves” after reopening 
    • A monetary response: to prevent a funding shortage, keep markets functioning and ensure abundant liquidity at low cost
    • A fiscal response: to compensate households and companies for losses stemming from lockdowns, contain rise in unemployment and ensure a rapid recovery.

    New infections, total infections, total deaths, fiscal stimulus and monetary policy as at 16.04.2020


    * LO estimate or reported figures
    Sources: Bloomberg, IMF, World Bank, Lombard Odier calculations

    Public health

    • The global rise in new confirmed Covid-19 cases grew about 4.5% on 16 April, continuing to slow. The daily rise in confirmed deaths also dropped to 6.3% globally
    • Wuhan, the Chinese city at the original epicentre of the pandemic, has reviewed its medical cases and added 325 previously misclassified infections and 1,290 fatalities, increasing the number of deaths by 50% to 3,869. The Wuhan government said this corrects some misclassifications and tracking errors in the early phases of the outbreak
    • China reported 26 symptomatic and 66 asymptomatic cases on 16 April, with 15 of the 26 symptomatic cases imported. Elsewhere in industrialized North Asia, epidemic curves remained stable. South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong continue to see low new case numbers
    • US President Donald Trump issued a new set of guidelines to states for a phase easing restrictions and reopen the economy. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an extension to the state lockdown until 15 May. Governors from seven Midwestern states have agreed to coordinate their reopening, similar to the coordination organised by groups of East-and-West Coast states announced earlier in the week
    The global rise in new confirmed Covid-19 cases grew about 4.5% on 16 April, continuing to slow.
    • In the UK, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab announced that the national lockdown is extended by another three weeks to early May
    • In Switzerland, the Federal Council announced a three-stage reopening plan: On 27 April, medical practices as well as small businesses such as hairdressing salons and hardware stores will reopen. If the situation allows, schools and shops will reopen 11 May. Higher education institutions, as well as museums and libraries will reopen on 8 June
    • Japan’s epidemic curve continues to rise, with 605 new cases on 16 April. In response to growing concerns about the risk of an acceleration in the epidemic, the government extended its health emergency from selected metropolitan areas to the whole country
    In Switzerland, the Federal Council announced a three-stage reopening plan
    • Singapore’s epidemic again worsened due to the migrant worker cluster that emerged last week. The city state will reopen the economy using a cluster management strategy, an approach being considered by other nations.

    Monetary and fiscal measures

    • The size of the US Federal Reserve balance sheet increased to USD6.4 trillion, an expansion of USD230 billion since last week. The Fed also announced that its new facility to purchase loans from banks is now operational


    • The European Central Bank has temporarily lowered capital requirements for commercial banks so that they can continue to lend during the crisis


    • In Japan, the government has promised a direct, one-off JPY100,000 (approx. USD1,000) payment to all citizens.


    Economic impact

    • China reported that Gross Domestic Product contracted 8% in the first quarter, its lowest number in decades and less than consensus expectations


    • The US registered unemployment claims of over 5.2 million last week. While lower than the previous week and consensus expectations, this brings the total claims over the past four-week period to over 20 million, which is close to 12.5% of the US total workforce


    • Also in the US, the USD350 billion loans programme established as part of the country’s stimulus package has run out of funds. As a result, the Small Business Administration is unable to process new requests for the Paycheck Protection Program. Negotiations between Congress and the US Treasury to expand the PPP have been inconclusive
    • Italy’s budget deficit will exceed 10% of GDP in 2020, according to comments made by a government official to the press.


    Portfolio positioning

    • The trend has turned more positive, but we do not believe that all the conditions for a sustained equity market rally are in place yet. We continue to monitor the slowdown in European and US infection rates and the likelihood of a second wave of infections in Asia. Market attention will gradually shift away from the outbreak and towards exit strategies and the economic impact. There are both negative and positive catalysts ahead: positive Covid-19 developments may be mitigated by worrisome news flow including weak economic data, dividend cuts and credit rating downgrades
    We continue to monitor the slowdown in European and US infection rates and the likelihood of a second wave of infections in Asia
    • We continue to adjust our portfolio exposures. Most recently, we have taken the opportunity of the recent decline in volatility to optimise our hedging strategy, increasing our equity protections and selling out-of-the money calls on gold.

    New infections as of 16.04.2020


    Sources: Bloomberg, IMF, Lombard Odier calculations

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