Near-unanimity over the FOMC’s dovish short-term policy has pushed U.S. stock futures to record highs.
- The FOMC meeting minutes showed the committee determined to keep an unchanged, dovish approach over the short term despite sharply increased projections for growth and unemployment. The release helped push S&P 500 futures to a new record high while NASDAQ futures also rose firmly. The European DAX Index is also bullish and close to an all-time high, suggesting that U.S. & E.U. stock indices long is likely to be a good trade over the near term.
- Despite the FOMC release, Forex markets are confused and uncertain, with major currencies changing little in value. The short-term outlook at the end of the Asian session suggested a weakening U.S. dollar while the euro probably has the most short-term strength of any major currency.
- The European Central Bank will release its Monetary Policy Meeting Accounts today, which could well impact the value of the euro.
- New coronavirus cases are rising globally for the sixth consecutive week, and deaths also increased last week for the third week running after falling for months, signifying a rebound in the pandemic in areas where vaccinations are relatively absent. The increase is especially pronounced in Latin America (accounting for 42% of deaths) and Europe (accounting for 35% of deaths). The situation is particularly bad in Brazil which saw a record number of coronavirus deaths yesterday – more than 4,000.
- Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 133.7 million with an average case fatality rate of 2.17%.
- The fastest progression in terms of immunizing a population against the coronavirus in all but the smallest states has been in Israel, which has given at least one shot to 61% of its entire population followed by the U.K. at 47%. For most of the world, a vaccine remains distant. Progress remains slow in the hard-hit European Union with only one member state (Hungary) having yet immunized more than 20%.
- The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to now be increasing most quickly in Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Lithuania, Mali, Mongolia, North Macedonia, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, the U.A.E., Uzbekistan, and Venezuela.