Stocks and risky assets continue to advance.
- The global stock market rally continued firmly on Friday and during today’s Asian session. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ 100 indices in North America closed Friday at all-time high prices, while the Nikkei 225 index was up by more than 2% to trade at a record high towards the Tokyo close. Historical precedent suggests that these markets are likely to continue to rise over the coming days.
- After being talked up by Elon Musk and Snoop Dogg over recent days, Dogecoin rose strongly to peak just below 9 cents per coin late Sunday. Dogecoin more than doubled in value between Thursday and Sunday alone but is now down by more than 15% from its peak yesterday.
- In the Forex market, the U.S. dollar remains strong, with the Japanese yen arguably the weakest currency. We can see a new pattern of both U.S. stocks and the U.S. dollar rising at the same time, suggesting foreign capital is flowing into the U.S. It is likely to be a light day in the Forex market due to the absence of any major scheduled data releases.
- Debate continues among U.S. Senators over President Biden’s planned stimulus package, with Senator Manchin calling for direct payments to only be sent to Americans earning less than $50k annually. The Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sees the correct threshold at approximately $60k.
- South Africa has suspended its delivery of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccination after a new study appears to show it does not seem to protect against mild and moderate illness from the South African coronavirus mutation.
- Global coronavirus deaths have increased dramatically since early October to reach a level 107% higher than the peak last April.
- Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 106.7 million with an average case fatality rate of 2.18%. The numbers of confirmed new cases and deaths globally have been falling over the past two 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 38% of its entire population and a second dose to 23% (which includes approximately 80% of over-60s). The U.A.E. ranks second, having now given 41 vaccines per 100 of its population. For most of the world, a vaccine remains distant: only 24 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, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Poland, Qatar, Senegal and Thailand.