Market Commentary – April 19,2021

Kevin Jock

19th April 2021

    Major Wall Street benchmarks ended last week at all-time highs. The rotation out of tech is nothing but a fading memory, the Dow Jones post 3 consecutive weeks of gains and the S&P500 eye’s the 4,200 level. A culmination of an improving labour market, jolt in retail sales and more stimulus bolstered investor risk appetite as the case for economic reopening accelerates.

    European markets finished Friday strongly amid the EU hitting a milestone of administering 100m vaccine doses. Corporate earnings releases from carmakers have been upbeat alongside a tremendous surge in China’s quarterly GDP figure. Meanwhile the UK’s FTSE100 crosses the 7,000 level, unseen since February 2020.

    Mixed opening for Asia, with both Australia and Japan subdued whilst Hong Kong rallied 1% following China’s financial regulator coming out reassuring investors that Huarong Asset Management, a distressed loan manager, has ample liquidity. The company is seen as a gauge to China’s economic health, however had their shares suspended in March 31st after failing to report quarterly earnings.

    On the coronavirus front, ill-equipped nations struggle to fend off worsening outbreaks as the world hits a weekly infection rate record. Globally, cases have topped 5.2m people have been diagnosed with the virus with Brazil and India most affected. On the bright side, a silver lining from a new study that suggest, if you’ve been infected with COVID-19 before, a single dose of Pfizer and Moderna is need, especially during a time when distribution is constrained.

    Cryptocurrency mania hit a roadblock on Sunday, as bitcoin tumbled 15% to $56,440 after hitting a record high of $64,869 just a few days back. Recent momentum came amid Coinbase’s IPO valuing the company as high as $85.8bn, a market cap higher than the Nasdaq exchange itself. Rumors on Sunday began to circulate that the U.S. Treasury intends to crackdown on digital assets as a plan to tackle money laundering.

    Crude oil stabilizes around the $63 mark, the U.S. dollar unchanged ahead of central bank announcements this week and gold rose $13 to $1,776.


Figure 1 (Source: IS Prime) USDCNH Weekly : A economic recovery gathering pace see’s China’s yuan resume it’s long-term appreciation as the greenback.

Headliner to Review

  • Consumer sentiment in U.S. higher as expected but missed consensus, from 84.9 to 86.5. The report suggests the increase was largely a result of economic growth, optimistic job market and a successful vaccination program.

Headliner to Watch

  • Australia and New Zealand to begin their quarantine free travel bubble today. The success (or failure) of their travel bubble is anticipated to be used a template in paving the way for other nations model after. Tourism New Zealand estimates the bubble will contribute 2.7bn NZD to the national economy this year.

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Antony Tan
Ben Li
Kevin Jock