Global stock market indices make new record prices.
- The global stock market rally continued yesterday but faded in the U.S. on bland inflation data and comments from Jerome Powell, the Chair of the Federal Reserve. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ 100 indices in North America did hit new all-time high prices, as did the Japanese Nikkei 225 Index. Historical precedent suggests that these markets are likely to continue to rise over the coming days.
- In the Forex market, the U.S. dollar has continued to weaken. The British pound and the Australian dollar look to be the strongest currencies today.
- Yesterday saw U.S. CPI (inflation) data come in as expected at 0.3%. There will be a release of U.S. unemployment claims data today.
- WTI Crude Oil hit a new 1-year high price yesterday, but later traded sideways like the stock market.
- The U.S. Senate yesterday opened prosecution arguments in the impeachment trial of President Trump, with a vote on conviction likely as early as next Monday. It seems very unlikely that President Trump will be convicted by the necessary two-thirds vote of Senators as well over one third voted to not proceed with the trial at all.
- Global coronavirus deaths have increased dramatically since early October to reach a level 107% higher than the peak last April about three weeks ago. Deaths have been falling for three weeks.
- Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 107.8 million with an average case fatality rate of 2.19%. The numbers of confirmed new cases and deaths globally have been falling over the past three weeks, so there are signs the current heavy global wave may have peaked.
- The fastest progression in terms of immunizing a population against the coronavirus has been in Israel, which has already administered a first shot of the Pfizer vaccine to 40% of its entire population and a second dose to 25% (which includes approximately 80% of over-60s). The U.A.E. ranks second, having now given 45 vaccines per 100 of its population. For most of the world, a vaccine remains distant: only 25 countries have vaccinated more than 5% of their population so far. Progress remains slow in the hard-hit European Union.
- The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to now be increasing most quickly in Albania, Bahrain, Barbados, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Malta, Mongolia, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Qatar, Senegal, Serbia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.