It looked as though it all went wrong today as the bad news just kept on coming. Following reports on Friday that JP Morgan and BoA had a more difficult month in March following a stronger start to the year, reports that UBS would be shedding thousands of staff and would announce billions more in writedowns as well as news of the takeover of a Spanish regional bank by the Bank of Spain hit market sentiment hard. Topping all of this were comments by the US administration that some banks would need more capital in addition to that already provided. The administration also said that bankruptcy may be the best option GM and Chrysler.
This sets up a difficult week ahead, with risk aversion set to rise further and the news unlikely to get any better. Economic news is likely to add to the market’s gloom as US releases such as the ISM manufacturing survey for March and the jobs report will likely reveal further deterioration. Expectations for another hefty drop in payrolls in March could see a total of over 5 million jobs lost so far in the current cycle with many more to go.
The news in Europe will not be much better and as today’s Eurozone sentiment indicators have shown the outlook for the economy remains gloomy. The ECB is likely to cut interest rates but will refrain from embarking on the quantitative easing policies followed by other central banks such as the Fed or BoE. As risk aversion rises the USD is set to continue to strengthen against most currencies this week.