Asian stock markets begin the week firmly while the Japanese Yen is weakening again.
- The Japanese Yen is selling off again as the week opens, though with considerably less momentum than was seen some days ago. The weakening is occurring despite remarks from Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara on Sunday that Japan has “to take necessary steps while closely monitoring developments including excessive, one-sided moves in the exchange rate.” Governor of Kuroda of the Bank of Japan has made similar statements. It is clear that Japanese policymakers do not want to see the USD/JPY currency pair above ¥145 and probably really want to see it stabilise somewhere below that level. However, USD/JPY is rising now towards its multi-decade high which it reached last week, but it still about 180 pips off that high. Despite its bearish retracement, there is a strong, long-term bullish trend in the US Dollar, and we are likely to see the currency continue to advance over the coming days.
- Global stock markets mostly rallied at the end of last week, and the Asian session this week has begun with firm gains in major Asian equity indices, notably in the HSI which is up more than 2.5% on the day. This suggests that the S&P 500 and NASDAQ 100 indices are likely to see an up day later, or at least to rise to new short-term highs.
- Yesterday’s election in Sweden has not yet delivered a conclusive result, with the balance too close to call, although partial results are suggesting a switch to a centre-right government is looking marginally likely. The major change in the results is the strong rise of the Sweden Democrats party which seems to have received more than 20% of the vote.
- Bitcoin/USD has risen strongly since Friday to reach a new 3-week high well above $21k.
- There will be a release of UK GDP data today, which may cause a reaction from the British Pound, especially in the GBP/USD currency pair and in the EUR/GBP currency cross.
- Daily new coronavirus cases globally dropped last week for the eighth consecutive week, giving rise to the hope that the pandemic is finally over in any meaningful sense.
- It is estimated that 67.8% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccination, while approximately 7.8% of the global population is confirmed to have contracted the virus at some time, although the true number is highly likely to be much larger.
- Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 613.8 million with an average case fatality rate of 1.06%.
- The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to now be most significantly increasing in Taiwan, and Russia.