March 25, 2020 / 5:40 AM / 5 days ago

Instant View: U.S. government agrees stimulus package in response to coronavirus pandemic

TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. senators and officials in U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration have reached an agreement on a massive economic stimulus bill to alleviate the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, White House official Eric Ueland said early on Wednesday.

The stimulus package is expected to be worth $2 trillion. A vote in the Senate is expected later on Wednesday.

Following are reactions to the agreement:

MOH SIONG SIM, CURRENCY ANALYST, BANK OF SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE

“The numbers look quite impressive, because it’s big. The bazooka looks sizeable. But the details are where we need to focus, in terms of figuring out who’s going to benefit and whether we can get it there fast enough before people start to crumble under this virus shock.

“The market has been in a dollar-cash-is-king situation...but there is only so much the Federal Reserve can do. Now we are seeing the fiscal bazooka in action, and that should help further ease the dollar funding stress.”

ANDREW COLLIER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ORIENT CAPITAL RESEARCH, HONG KONG:

“Obviously, a stimulus package of this size will not just ease the profitability pressure on U.S. companies but also on companies in other parts of the world.

“The Trump administration is indicating that it will continue with significant government intervention that they have been avoiding, so people take that as a sign that the U.S. is stepping up to the plate and become more important part to the global response to shore up the economy.

“The symbolic value of this is as important as the economic effect it will have. If this stimulus is seen as short-term sugar-high, then it’s more likely the Trump administration will follow through with additional economic measures.”

ALEX WONG, DIRECTOR OF ASSET MANAGEMENT AT AMPLE FINANCE, HONG KONG

“Markets have been expecting this, that’s why we only had some brief upside. People are taking some profit.

“We have had so much policy (support) from central banks, so people are hesitant to short right now. But they would not buy aggressively either knowing that the fundamentals will deteriorate in the short term. They will wait for better signs. I think we will be in some choppy range for a while.”

KIYOSHI ISHIGANE, CHIEF FUND MANAGER, MITSUBISHI UFJ KOKUSAI ASSET MANAGEMENT CO, TOKYO

“This is certainly a big figure, at around 10% of U.S. gross domestic product, which should support equities and other risk-ok trades.

“A lot of the good news has already been priced into the market, so it may be difficult to see a strong rally right away. In the medium term the world’s largest economy has compiled a very powerful combination of fiscal and monetary measures. With this much policy support in place, we’ve likely seen a bottom in U.S. stocks.

“This does make Japan’s response look very slow. Japan’s government will have to step up and offer something big in the form of fiscal stimulus to keep up with other countries.”

JASON TEH, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER VERTIUM ASSET MANAGEMENT, SYDNEY

“No doubt it’s a positive development that they’ve agreed, because if they can’t agree things will turn down further. But once it is approved the question is how it is implemented.

“There will be a lag. We don’t know how long that lag is, but I know this for certain: There will be another initial unemployment claims number coming out and that number will not be pretty. We’re still going to see volatility.

“It’s good the authorities are going to throw everything at it. But if the virus is not controlled in the U.S., then they’re going to have to throw another trillion dollars.”

Reporting by Stanley White in Tokyo, Tom Westbrook in Singapore, Noah Sin and Sumeet Chatterjee in Hong Kong; Editing by Kim Coghill

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