Market Commentary – April 20,2021

Kevin Jock

20th April 2021

    Wall Street takes a breather from recent advances as the worsening global coronavirus situation weighs down optimism alongside Tesla tumbling after reports that one of its vehicles killed two passengers whilst potentially on autopilot hinders risk appetite. In Europe, profit taking took hold amid lacklustre major events and likewise, the FTSE100 retraced all gains from last Friday session as the UK discovers new cases of the COVID-19 variant from India on top of South Africa’s one.

    The Hang Seng set to buck overnight sentiment rallying 0.8% since open. Keynotes from President Xi’s speech during the four-day Boao forum in Hainan, stressed global corporation among nations in artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and new energy. Meanwhile, both the S&P200 and Nikkei slipped 0.5% and 0.9% respectively. The Australia – New Zealand travel bubble is poised to benefit a decimated tourism industry tremendously though could hit a snag with vaccine delays. In high stakes talk, Australia intends to ask the EU to lift export restrictions on 3m doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccines in exchange for dropping carbon tariffs on imports.

    Crude oil edged higher to $63.40 as investors resume speculating the reopening of the economy stoking demand despite OPEC’s planned production increase. India brutal COVID-19 resurgence though poses potential risk to oil demand.

    The U.S. dollar weakened against a basket of majors, more so sharply against the pound and yen. Down 1% for the former and 0.5% for the latter. Gold retraced to $1,771 and bitcoin resumes its freefall, hitting a low of $53,500 intraday.


Figure 1 (Source: IS Prime) Bitcoin 1-min 20/04/2021 : Threat of U.S. government crackdown continues to fuel risk-off appetite in cryptocurrencies as bitcoin declines another $2,500 intra-day.

Headliner to Review

  • Claimant counts change out of the U.K. came in better than expected at 10.1k compared to the 24.5k consensus, though the pace of average earnings came in slower at 4.5%. The fall is largely attributed to the hospitality sector recovering and among those under 25 years old.
  • RBA monetary minutes reaffirm the central will ensure rates stay low till at least 2024, though did note jobs had recovery much sooner than anticipated to pre-pandemic peaks.

Headliner to Watch

  • Inflationary pressure in New Zealand is expected to accelerate from 0.5% to 0.8%. The rise in CPI figures is considered a temporary transitory phenomenon.
  • Retail’s sales figures to rebound from -0.8% to 1% in Australia. Despite slow vaccinations, rapid response from state governments against infection outbreaks has helped stifle uncontrolled outbreaks, allowing business to flourish.

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Antony Tan
Ben Li
Kevin Jock