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Morning Note: Feds cut rates, Virus Cases Rise in Kenya.

Investors in Cement production firms should brace for lower returns. Data shows that the Cement production hit a five-year low of 5.88 million tonnes in 2019, increasing the idle capacity of the country’s factories as export outlets shrink. This will bring to number, the fourth year of continued reduction in production and revenue for Cement Firms. The current Corona Virus pandemic which has already hit on companies will definitely hamper their revenues for 2020 as well.

Extracts from the Stanbic Bank Kenya Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)  report showed that mobile money firms in January posted lowest orders since October 2017. The number of mobile payment deals declined by 4.04 million to 150.204 million in the first month of the year, down from 154.243 million in the review period, Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data shows. Payment deals worth Sh371.9 billion were completed through mobile phones during the month, a marginal 1.05 percent rise from Sh368.02 billion a year earlier.

The Federal Reserve System of the United States swept into action on Sunday to save the U.S. economy from the fallout of the coronavirus, slashing its benchmark interest rate by a full percentage point to near zero and promising to boost its bond holdings by at least $700 billion. In remarks underlining the sense of urgency, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told a hastily assembled press briefing by telephone that the disruption to lives and businesses meant second quarter U.S. growth would probably be weak and it was hard to know how long the effects would last. That left a clear role for fiscal policy to help cushion the blow.The actions taken by the Fed’s could be followed by Central Banks

China which has done a lot by pumping more Yuan into the economy could also bring in more Quantitative Easing strategies to stimulate the economy which is slowly recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. European Commercial Bank could be warming up to counter the virus effect which is on the verge of pushing the global economy into a recession. The Fed pulled out some of the biggest weapons in its arsenal. It’s key rate is now zero to 0.25%, matching the record low level it hit during the 2008 financial crisis and where it was held until December 2015.

Here’s a wrap of how markets are performed:

Currencies

  • The yen rose 0.6% to 106.99 per dollar as of 12:38 p.m. in Tokyo.
  • The offshore yuan rose 0.1% to 7.0139 per dollar.
  • The kiwi sank 0.1% to 60.46 U.S. cents.
  • The Australian dollar lost 0.7% to 61.60 U.S. cents.

Stocks

  • Futures on the S&P 500 fell 4.8%. The gauge advanced 9.3% on Friday.
  • Japan’s Topix index added 0.5%.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 7%.
  • South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.9%.
  • Hang Seng Index fell 2%.
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures slid 2.7%.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries dropped 29 basis points to 0.67%.
  • Australia’s 10-year yield fell 13 basis points to 0.85%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude slid 1.5% to $31.24 a barrel.
  • Gold rose 1.1% to $1,546.77 an ounce