Risk-on sentiment continues to dominate markets with stocks higher and the U.S. dollar weaker.
- Stock markets are mostly slightly higher, with the major U.S. Index, the S&P 500, briefly reaching a new all-time high last Friday. Stock markets continue to generally look bullish, especially the U.S. market which looks likely to move higher over the coming days.
- Bitcoin reached a 7-week low over the weekend at $47k before bouncing back strongly.
- In the Forex market, the U.S. dollar is the weakest currency, while the euro, Japanese yen and the Canadian dollar are the strongest major currencies.
- The Bank of Japan will be giving its monthly Monetary Policy Statement, Policy Rate, and Outlook Report during the forthcoming Asian session.
- Friday saw an all-time record high number of confirmed daily new coronavirus cases globally, due mainly to increasing rates of infection in Asia. The situation is especially bad in India, which is seeing explosive growth in infection and an exponential rise in case numbers to new highs, which is putting a severe strain on the Indian health care system due to a shortage of oxygen. There are fears of mutations arising in India which would be resistant to current vaccines.
- Global coronavirus deaths increased last week for the sixth week running after falling for months, signifying a rebound in the pandemic in areas where vaccinations are relatively absent.
- Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 147.8 million with an average case fatality rate of 2.11%.
- 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 62% of its entire population followed by the U.A.E. at 51%. For most of the world, a vaccine remains distant. However, the pace of vaccination has finally begun to speed up in the European Union, which now has immunized 21% of its population.
- The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to now be increasing most quickly in Argentina, the Bahamas, Bolivia, Cambodia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Egypt, Georgia, India, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Laos, Lithuania, Malaysia, Nepal, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Trinidad, Tunisia, Venezuela, and Uzbekistan.