Five Things You Need to Know about what’s moving markets on Monday


China PMIs Plummet

Investors have been given the biggest insight yet into the potential economic devastation of the coronavirus in China, where millions of workers and consumers remain quarantined. Activity in the country’s factory sector contracted sharply in February, with a gauge derived from surveys hitting the lowest level on record. The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index plunged to 35.7 in February from 50 the previous month, and the non-manufacturing number also fell to its lowest ever level. Both were well below 50, denoting a contraction. 

More New Cases

The global death toll from the outbreak has surged past 3,000. In Asia, China says its total number of infections has passed 80,000, South Korea saw its total climb past 4,200 and Indonesia reported its first. As Europe braces for an economic impact, Italy’s confirmed infections jumped, with some Sunday masses taking place on Facebook. Over in Paris, the epidemic shut down the Louvre Museum. New cases were reported across the U.S., including the first infection in New York. President Donald Trump will meet pharmaceutical executives later.

Stocks Higher

Asian stocks and European equity futures climbed Monday amid signs of support from central banks. The Bank of Japan vowed to provide ample liquidity, while Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled Friday that the central bank is prepared to cut interest rates if necessary. Goldman Sachs expects a 50-basis-point reduction from the Fed in March. Even so, for markets the days ahead could be chaotic. And if Friday already feels like an age ago, here’s some charts that sum up a week that we could be talking about for years.

Johnson’s Busy Week

Boris Johnson is engaged and expecting a baby, but for the moment, the U.K. prime minister has Brexit to think about. Negotiations on a trade deal between Britain and the European Union take place in Brussels from today, with both sides having used tough rhetoric of late. As if that wasn’t enough to be dealing with, the British government has turmoil at home to handle, too, after the top civil servant at the Home Office dramatically quit the department that runs counter-terrorism, policing and immigration, accusing the home secretary of orchestrating a campaign against him. 

Coming Up…

Keep an eye on Twitter Inc. shares in New York this afternoon after a report that activist investor Elliott Management Corp. has taken a stake and plans to push for notable changes, including replacing Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey. Elsewhere, French President Emmanuel Macron is facing criticism over a decision to push through pension reforms and, over in Israel, voters head to the polls for the third time in less than a year. U.S. ISM manufacturing statistics and some final readings of European PMIs are due, while it’s a quieter day in terms of corporate earnings.