German Slump Eases Slightly as Lockdown Restrictions Relaxed

RBA’s Lowe Says Economic Outlook Remains Unusually Uncertain

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said the economic outlook remains unusually uncertain despite fiscal and monetary policy measures taken to combat the downturn caused by the coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic.

The measures taken by the central bank in March are working as expected. The bank is prepared to scale up bond purchases again if necessary to achieve the yield curve target, Lowe said a webinar on Thursday.

At the March meeting, the bank had reduced the cash rate to 0.25 percent and unveiled a bond purchase programme and a three-year funding facility.

However, there is a limit to what can be achieved with monetary policy, Lowe said today.

The governor observed that one obvious source of uncertainty is the pace at which the various restrictions to control the spread of Covid-19 are eased. Another is the level of confidence that people have about their future, both in terms of their health and their own finances.

Responding to a question during an online panel discussion, Lowe said the recovery will be slow without a Covid-19 vaccine. He noted that the confidence is fragile and restoring it is important.

Regarding negative interest rate, Lowe said it is “extraordinarily unlikely” as the costs of that exceed the benefits.

Stock Alert: Avis Budget Group Up 9%

Shares of Avis Budget Group Inc. (CAR) are rising more than 9 percent or $1.44 in Thursday’s morning trade at $16.80. The stock has traded in a range of $6.35 to $52.98 in the past 52 weeks.

Automotive and related stocks are advancing on hopes of a rebound in auto sales and leisure travel as the U.S. gradually reopens parts of the economy. Avis Budget has said it expects a gradual recovery in revenues from June and improving thereafter, as shelter in place restrictions are lifted and leisure travel begins to resume. The company’s current reservations show improvement in June and sequentially increase over the balance of the summer.

Parsippany, New Jersey-based Avis Budget provides car and truck rentals, car sharing, and ancillary services to businesses and consumers.

Stock Alert: TJX Rises 7% As Co. Sees Strong Sales At Stores

Shares of The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX), a leading off-price apparel and home fashions retailer are increasing more than 7% Thursday morning at $55.05.

While reporting first-quarter results today, the company’s Chief Executive Officer and President Ernie Herrman commented, “Although it’s still early and the retail environment remains uncertain, we have been encouraged with the very strong sales we have seen with our initial reopenings. We are currently seeing plentiful off-price buying opportunities, which, as we look to the remainder of the year, gives us confidence in having excellent brands and quality merchandise available to us”.

TJX Companies has reopened more than 1,600 of its stores and expects to reopen all of its stores by the end of June.

For the first quarter, the company reported a net loss of $887.49 million or $0.74 per share compared with net income of $700.18 million or $0.57 per share in the same quarter a year ago.

Net sales nearly halved to $4.408 billion from $9.277 billion last year.

TJX has traded in the range of $32.72- $64.95 in the last 52-weeks.

Jupiter shareholders approve British asset manager's Merian merger deal

(Reuters) – British asset manager Jupiter Fund Management (JUP.L) said on Thursday shareholders had approved its proposed acquisition of smaller rival Merian Global Investors, with about 95% of votes cast in favor of the deal at a general meeting.

“We remain on track to complete the acquisition on, or as soon as possible after, 1 July 2020 and have been working closely with colleagues at Merian on the integration, which is progressing smoothly despite the lockdown,” the company said.

Stock Alert: TJX Rises 7% As Co. Sees Strong Sales At Stores

Shares of The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX), a leading off-price apparel and home fashions retailer are increasing more than 7% Thursday morning at $55.05.

While reporting first-quarter results today, the company’s Chief Executive Officer and President Ernie Herrman commented, “Although it’s still early and the retail environment remains uncertain, we have been encouraged with the very strong sales we have seen with our initial reopenings. We are currently seeing plentiful off-price buying opportunities, which, as we look to the remainder of the year, gives us confidence in having excellent brands and quality merchandise available to us”.

TJX Companies has reopened more than 1,600 of its stores and expects to reopen all of its stores by the end of June.

For the first quarter, the company reported a net loss of $887.49 million or $0.74 per share compared with net income of $700.18 million or $0.57 per share in the same quarter a year ago.

Net sales nearly halved to $4.408 billion from $9.277 billion last year.

TJX has traded in the range of $32.72- $64.95 in the last 52-weeks.

German Slump Eases Slightly as Lockdown Restrictions Relaxed

German private-sector activity continued to fall in May, though at a less pronounced pace than in April as lockdown measures were eased.

Both manufacturers and service providers saw steep drops in production, with a composite gauge of activity remaining weak. Earlier this month, Germany began allowing businesses such as restaurants and hotels to reopen.

But business sentiment remained negative and employment numbers continued to decline. The survey also showed more evidence of the use of short-time work.

“Any hopes of a swift pick-up in activity across the German economy following the easing of lockdown restrictions have been somewhat dashed,” said Phil Smith, principal economist at IHS Markit, which produces the report. “We are still a long way off business as usual and the path to recovery remains unclear.”

IHS Markit’s purchasing managers’ index for Germany came in at 31.4, above April’s reading of 17.4. A gauge for the eurozone is due later on Thursday.

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