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ECB passes court test, US moves to reopen

ECB passes court test, US moves to reopen

Growth positive moves dominated overnight market action. European shares rallied after the German constitutional court ruled the European Central Bank’s stimulus program is lawful, albeit with some reservations. US shares rose and crude oil prices surged again as the government disbanded its medical task force, and President Trump called on Americans’ “warrior” spirit to reopen the US economy.

Optimism continues to rise despite more hard evidence of economic damage. The UK services PMI for April was finalised at 13.4, and the US equivalent printed at 26.7. Both are the lowest readings ever. Analysts expect US non-farm payrolls data to show 21 million jobs lost in April on Friday night. Investors seem unfazed.

Further PMI readings are due today from Hong Kong and Singapore this morning. In Australia retail sales are expected to rise 8% in March. However market participants may show the same indifference as they have to this morning’s surprise dip in New Zealand Q1 unemployment to 4.2%, as it excludes the full impact of lockdown measures.

The Euro is under further pressure after a near 2% fall against the US dollar over the previous two sessions. The Yen continues to edge higher. Commodity currencies are stuck in place, with forex traders seemingly reluctant to join the share market enthusiasm. Cryptocurrencies are broadly bid.

Around two-thirds of top US companies have now reported quarterly earnings. Sales have held ground, but earnings are on average down 9%.This morning Disney disappointed investors, reporting earnings per share of 60 cents, well below consensus closer to 90 cents.

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