The combined effects of unlimited liquidity and governments enacting containment measures helped steady markets overnight. Stocks remain under pressure, but falls in Europe and the US were less dramatic. Bonds remain the preferred investment choice, but crude oil rallied and gold fell.

The UK lockdown and an imminent US fiscal package against a backdrop of unlimited US Federal reserve support were important influences on the overnight session. The US dollar index fell for just the second time in ten days as tensions eased. While there is no end to the pandemic in sight, investors are questioning whether the 30% plus falls in shares now reflect economic reality.

Cryptocurrencies are also back in favour. Bitcoin continued its recent rally, pushing up through US$6,000 and lifting CMC’s All Crypto Index back above 2,000. Wins for alternative currencies seem to come at the expense of precious metals, with both gold and silver trading lower.

Asia Pacific futures are pointing to opening gains after yesterday’s heavy selling. Australian PMIs released this morning show contraction in services and at the composite level, although the manufacturing PMI surprised with a read for March in expansion mode.