IMF downgraded its projections for the Euro Area. Economists predict that the EU will get back to the pre-pandemic levels only by the end of 2022.
South Korean economy suddenly shrinks in the first quarter
In the first quarter, the South Korean economy suddenly contracted, thus marking its worst outcome since the global financial meltdown. It occurred due to the fact that companies slashed investment, while exports decreased responding to China-US trade clashes as well as decelerating Chinese demand.
The shocking contraction spurred money market bets that the country’s major financial institution will probably make a U-turn on policy in the nearer future, moving to an easing stance and cutting interest rates to withstand weakening business confidence as well as soaring external risks.
A worse-than-anticipated downturn in the memory chips sector affected first quarter capital investment and shrinking exports compensated gains from private consumption. That’s what the Bank of Korea informed on Thursday.
GDP in the first quarter went down a seasonally updated 0.3% from the previous quarter that appears to be the worst decrease since the 3.3% tumble in late 2008 as well the shrinking from 1% surge in October-December.
None of the market experts had hoped surge would contract. By the way, the median estimate suggested a 0.3% leap.
From 2018, the Korean economy managed to rally by 1.8% in the January-March quarter, in contrast with a 2.5% leap in the survey as well as a 3.1% jump in the final quarter of the previous year.
Besides this, South Korea's key stock index headed south by 0.4% after the data and the country’s won slumped to its lowest value since early 2017.
As a matter of fact, June futures on three-year treasury bonds went up 0.15 points ending up with 109.58. The country’s three-year bond gains dived below the benchmark interest rate of 1.75% again.
The Australian economy has been on a steady recovery path, and now we have a very symbolic confirmation that S&P ASX 200 is about to cross 7000!
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The Reserve Bank of New Zealand will hold a meeting on Wednesday, April 14, at 05:00 MT.