The Japanese yen and U.S. dollar remain strong as stocks and other risky assets decline.
- The U.S. dollar is clearly the strongest major currency in the Forex market, while the euro is relatively the weakest.
- Most stock markets have fallen over the past day, with Asian markets especially hard hit – the Japanese and Chinese markets have seen a daily fall of approximately 2%.
- The EUR/USD currency pair is trading close to a new 4-month low. Today will bring releases of French and German economic data which may affect the euro, plus testimony before Congress from the Chair of the Federal Reserve which may affect the U.S. dollar.
- The Turkish lira has continued to decline after President Erdogan fired the Governor of Turkey’s central bank on Saturday, who had presided over an increase in the value of the Turkish lira.
- New coronavirus cases are rising globally for the fourth consecutive week, and deaths also increased last week for the first time in months, potentially signifying a rebound in the pandemic where vaccinations are relatively absent. The increase is especially pronounced in Europe.
- Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 124.8 million with an average case fatality rate of 2.20%.
- Brazil is suffering from a strong wave of infections, and is currently accounting for approximately 15% of the entire known global coronavirus daily death toll as fatalities there hit new record highs. The Brazilian health service is severely strained.
- The fastest progression in terms of immunizing a population against the coronavirus in all but the smallest states has been in Israel, which has already administered a first shot of the Pfizer vaccine to 56% of its entire population and a second dose to 50% (which includes more than 90% of over-50s who have either received a shot or recovered from coronavirus). The U.A.E. ranks second, with 74 shots given per 100 people. For most of the world, a vaccine remains distant. Progress remains slow in the hard-hit European Union with only a single member state (Hungary) having yet given more than 20 shots per 100 of its population.
- The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to now be increasing most quickly in Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Djibouti, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mali, Moldova, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Somalia, and Sweden.