Market Commentary – April 15,2021

Kevin Jock

15th April 2021

    Mixed result coming out of Wall Street with Nasdaq sharply declining 1%, S&P500 lower by 0.3% whilst Dow Jones ended in positive territory. Speaking at the Economic Club of Washington, Fed Chair Powell indicated the central bank would scale back bond purchases before considering any hawkish endeavour on the policy rate itself.

    Public confidence in COVID-19 vaccinations is waning in Europe as Denmark becomes the first country in the bloc to permanently suspend the use of AstraZeneca’s shot with Norway expected to announce their decision on Thursday. Amid Johnson & Johnson pausing their own roll-out, Brussels intends to fast-track delivery 50m doses of BioNTech’s COIVID vaccine in the next three months. Lack of upside scenario’s saw European benchmarks ended their sessions lower across the board.

    Improving labour market figures boosted Australia’s S&P200 1.3% higher, cyclical firms positioned to benefit from the global recovery ensured the Japanese Nikkei stay in positive territory and the Hang Seng slipped 1.2% intraday.

    Shrinking crude inventories beyond expectations helped boost oil prices higher by $2 to close at $62.73. Powell’s remarks yesterday put downward pressure on the U.S. dollar whilst gold fluctuates between $1,730 – $1,750.

    As bitcoin retraces from $64,800 to $62,300, the first public listing of a major cryptocurrency exchange saw Coinbase Global debut at $75.9bn with an open price of $381. Shares reached as a high as $429.54 before closing Wednesday’s session at $328.28, down $14 from open. Coinbase is considered the largest digital coin exchange in the U.S. encompassing 56m retail customers.


Figure 1 (Source: IS Prime) AUS200 Daily : Aussie markets play catch up, just shy off all-time highs as their economic recovery steams ahead evident from recent jobs figures.

Headliner to Review

  • Australia’s employment change came in at 70.7k for March, better than the expected 35.2K, whilst the jobless rate declined to 5.6% from 5.8%. The impact of the jobkeeper wage subsidy which expired on the 28th March is likely to be felt in April and May.
  • Crude oil inventories contracted further than consensus at -5.9m from -3.5m despite global infection rates resurging back again.

Headliner to Watch

  • March retail and core sales in the U.S. expected to expand from -2.7% and -3% respectively. The boost in sales is largely anticipated following President Biden initial stimulus top-up when elected.
  • U.S. unemployment claims to resume their downward trajectory declining from 744k to 703k.

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Antony Tan
Ben Li
Kevin Jock