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However, countries further through this including Spain, Russia and Nigeria are taking tentative steps back towards normal life by preparing to reopen some businesses. France announced on Tuesday that shops, markets and selected schools could reopen next month, with face masks required on public transport and work-from-home orders staying in place for several more weeks. Spain said restrictions would be slowly lifted over the next two months, while Italians will be able to exercise outdoors and visit relatives from next week but only if they wear masks and refrain from hugs and handshakes.



Also this week, we have three central bank meetings taking place; the Bank of Japan (BoJ), the Federal Reserve (Fed) and the European Central Bank (ECB). The response from Central Banks has been both swift and extensive and there’s no doubt the incredibly supportive environment is set to be with us for a long time yet. The BoJ meeting has already taken place – they made no change to interest rates but moved to introduce more flexibility and size to their quantitative easing (QE) programs. The BoJ will remove the upper limit of JPY 80 trillion per year on their purchases of Japanese Government Bonds – a move in line with the US Federal Reserve in having no upper limit to their QE policy. As mentioned earlier, the response from central banks has been both swift and extensive and the measures from the BoJ are further evidence of this. To highlight the sheer magnitude of this support, the Fed is buying around $70 billion of assets every day, which compares to the peak of $120 billion a month back in 2008/9.

Source: Alpha Terminal (30/04/2020)
Alex Brandreth
Chief Investment Officer



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