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Market update 18 March: Volatility reaches currency markets

  •  The wild market swings continued on Tuesday. At one point USD appreciated almost 2 percent versus EUR, which is very rare, and a sign of a stressed market where participants want to ensure they have enough USD.
  • The Federal Reserve (Fed) took aggressive new action to secure the functioning of markets, reusing tools from the Financial Crisis:
    • The launch of a Primary Dealer Credit Facility allowing large financial institutions (24 banks) access to short-term loans secured against bonds and stocks, making them cash equivalents as collateral.
    • The Fed will also launch a Commercial Paper Funding Facility to facilitate loans to US corporations in an effort to ease dysfunction in the USD 1.1 trillion market for short-term corporate commercial paper. US companies use commercial paper to finance their day-to-day business operations, such as payroll expenses.
  • The Norwegian Money market and interbank market is not functioning well. There is very low liquidity in the money market. Participants expect Norges Bank to do more, cut policy the policy rate further, even down to zero, and again provide banks with the Gold Card (used in the Financial Crisis).
  • Governments internationally are increasingly putting money on the table.
  • President Trump promised USD 1,000 billion, 5% of US gross domestic product, in support, even suggesting giving USD 1,000 to all residents. Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, promised even more money per person with a support package totaling GBP 350 billion (15% of GDP). All G7 countries has come up with similar packages.

SKAGEN Funds summary

-          No material changes.

 

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