Fear induced by the advancing Delta coronavirus variant continues the selloff of risky assets and a flight to safety.
Increasing fears over the economic impact of measures which seem more likely to be necessary to prevent the spread of the Delta variant are hitting global markets. Risky assets such as stock markets and cryptocurrencies fell again yesterday, although the Asian session has seen a small recovery. Global stocks and commodities are mostly lower with the exception of the S&P 500 Index which bounced back yesterday.
In the Forex market, the Japanese yen and US dollar are strong, while the New Zealand and Australian dollars and the British pound are especially weak. The U.S. Dollar Index is hitting a multi-month high and looks likely to advance further over the coming days.
Cryptocurrencies are very weak, with Bitcoin trading below $30k and threatening to hit $20k or even $10k quite quickly, while Ethereum is even weaker. Almost every major cryptocurrency fell again yesterday, although the Asian session has seen a recovery. Bitcoin is close to its 7-month low at $28,600.
Australian retail sales data have come in much worse than expected, showing a month-on-month decline of 1.8% compared to the anticipated decline of 0.7%.
Last week saw a sharp, fourth consecutive weekly rise in global new confirmed coronavirus cases, suggesting that the pandemic is advancing again due to the spread of the more highly infectious Delta (Indian) variant.
It is estimated that 26.5% of the world’s population has received at least one vaccination against the novel coronavirus.
Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 192.2 million with an average case fatality rate of 2.15%.
The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to now be increasing most quickly in Algeria, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Burma, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, Pakistan, Russia, Senegal, Spain, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, and the United Kingdom.