The rising concerns over the spread of the novel virus rattled financial markets, as investors sought flight to safety. Therefore, the demand for the risk assets such as the regional equities, Wall Street futures and Treasury yields was almost killed.
The Asian equities traded in red, led by the sharp decline in the Chinese stocks while oil prices tumbled to seven-week lows amid concerns that the virus outbreak might wallop the global economic upturn. The traditional safe-havens gold and the yen drew few bids, as gold prices firmed up near $1,555 while USD/JPY dropped to an eight-day low near mid-109s.
Among the European currencies, GBP/USD fell for the first time in four days and headed towards 1.3100 despite Brexit optimism while EUR/USD traded in a tight range ahead of the key European Central Bank (ECB) monetary policy decision.
The main highlight in Thursday’s macro calendar remains the ECB Interest Rate Decision due to be announced at 12:45 GMT. Markets expect the ECB to stand pat on its monetary policy but could start the strategy review.
In the NA session, the US weekly Jobless Claims will be released at 13:30 GMT alongside the ECB Press Conference that will be addressed by President Lagarde. At 15:00 GMT, the Eurozone Consumer Confidence for January will drop in, soon followed by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) Crude Oil Stocks Change data at 16:00 GMT.
Apart from the ECB decision and the second-tier macro news, the China virus-related headlines will continue to influence the market sentiment in the day ahead.