Apr 3, 2019

Australian dollar whipsaws after country enters "per capita recession"

The Australian dollar whipsawed in currency markets following its central bank's latest meeting. It was the weakest major currency in the world Tuesday morning after the Reserve Bank of Australia changed its statement to a more dovish stance.

Why it matters: Australia's GDP growth has shrunk on a per-capita basis in the last 2 quarters, entering a "per-capita recession" for the first time in 13 years. The country hasn't seen an outright growth recession in nearly 30 years, so investors are on high alert.

  • It was the first rewrite of the final paragraphs of the RBA's statement "in ages," NAB foreign exchange strategist Rodrigo Catril told Australia's ABC News.
  • "Traders are starting to position for a series of easing actions from Asian central banks," said Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX Strategy at BK Asset Management.
  • "Australian rates markets are now pricing in as much as 80% possibility that a rate cut will take place before the end of the year."

The big picture: Australia is seen as a proxy for China because of how much its major industries rely on trade with the world's No. 2 economy. Movements in the Australian dollar tend to reflect views on China, as its yuan currency is still far less traded on global FX markets.

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Deadly clashes erupt in Delhi ahead of Trump's visit

Rival protesters over the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi, India, on Monday. Photo: Yawar Nazir/ Getty Images

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for calm Tuesday as deadly clashes erupted in the city's northeast between supporters and opponents of India's controversial new citizenship law.

Why it matters: Per the BBC, a police officer and six civilians "died in the capital's deadliest day" since last year's passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act — which allows religious minorities but excludes Muslims from nearby countries to become citizens if they can show they were persecuted for their religion — hours before President Trump and members of the U.S. first family were due to visit the city as part of their visit to India.

Go deeper: India's citizenship bill continues Modi's Hindu nationalist offensive

South Carolina paper The State backs Buttigieg for Democratic primary

Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend Pete Buttigieg speaks at an event in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

South Carolina newspaper The State endorsed former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Monday night for the state's Democratic primary.

Why it matters: It's a welcome boost for Buttigieg ahead of Tuesday's Democratic debate in South Carolina and the state's primary on Saturday.

White House requests $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus as U.S. cases rise

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. rose to 53.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,699 people and infected more than 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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