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Market Update 1 April: Equities lower as manufacturing PMIs reveal widespread contraction

1 April 2020
  • The downturn has continued into the second quarter with most European markets starting April significantly lower.
  • On Tuesday, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones closed down 1.6% and 1.8% respectively.
  • A slew of Manufacturing PMIs show that most countries are down significantly, except China where both the official and Markit PMI rebounded. The figures point to recession almost everywhere (notable exceptions include the Netherlands and Taiwan in addition to China).
  • Continental Europe manufacturing is weak, and as expected, Italy is the weakest. Levels are not yet as bad as the GFC and more in line with the European Debt Crisis, with EM Europe the same
  • UK is, so far, holding up relatively well
  • Sweden and Norway have fallen sharply to the lowest levels since the GFC
  • Rebound in China (Markit PMI at 50.1 and the official PMI at 52)
  • Asia (ex China) is falling, with Vietnam, South Kora and Indonesia down the most (numbers for India not released yet)
  • Numbers from the US and Latin America will be released this afternoon.
  • Service sector numbers (which are expected to be even lower) will be announced on Friday.

SKAGEN Funds Summary

  • No material changes.

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