Will Strong Employment Report Outweigh Global Economic Concerns?

The euro sinks to near a 21-month low against the US dollar today hurt by a series of dovish signals from the European Central Bank. — Reuters pic

The deets goes with 2019 growth forecast falling through to 1.1% from an earlier 1.7% while inflation also saw a sharp downturn to 1.6% from 2.1%.

Chinese shares were more than 4% lower on Friday after data showed exports contracting by a fifth, deepening fears for the world economy and pushing global equities to three-week troughs.

The MSCI Emerging Market Index fell 1.3 percent to the lowest since January.

The much weaker than expected job growth in February represented the worst month since the loss of 18,000 jobs in September of 2017, when employment was impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. But there are signs that this is starting to wear off with the United States recording lower than expected growth in the fourth quarter of a year ago.

Draghi cited "factors. mostly of external source", including "the threat of protectionism" and "geopolitical considerations", and analysts pointed out that the eurozone was in a precarious position. Economists had expected exports to drop 4.8%.

"The ECB's updated forecasts imply that, at best, growth slowly returns to trend over the next few years, meaning it will be very hard to get underlying inflation up", wrote analysts at ANZ in a note. According to Eurostat, productivity shrank in the second half of 2018 for the first time since the financial crisis.

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Germany's 10-year yield rose one basis point to 0.07 percent. It has declined 1.5 per cent so far this week. In the third quarter of a year ago, the German economy contracted for this first time since 2015, with growth remaining flat in the last quarter.

The Bloomberg Commodity Index fell 0.1 percent.

USA stocks slumped with the dollar after a report showed American hiring was the weakest in more than a year while wage gains were the fastest of the expansion.

Shares from Sydney to Hong Kong fell, with China's market slumping the most since October as traders interpreted a rare sell rating from the nation's largest brokerage as a sign the government wants to curb gains.

Nick Kounis, head of macro and financial markets research at ABN Amro, said this may not be the last dovish message from European Central Bank.

At its monetary policy meeting held today, the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) chose to leave the interest rates on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.40%, respectively. Instead, he continued, as demonstrated by the ECB decision "central banks remain stuck in a morass".

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