HomeBlogOngoing Markets Commentary: The COVID Effect in 2021

Equity markets continue to rise, largely driven by their value components, welcoming better news on the US policy front. While a consolidation may happen near term, the context remains broadly supportive: liquidity, fiscal support, and vaccine-bolstered expectations of economic recovery.

European markets are set for a lower open Friday as another surge in bond yields continues to roil global stocks.

The summary as at 05.03.21

  • Asian stocks skidded to one-month lows as rising U.S. Treasury yields again rattled equity investors while hoisting the dollar to a three-month high, which in turn dragged the Japanese yen;
  • Oil prices rose, extending gains from the previous session, after OPEC and its allies agreed not to increase supply in April as they await a more substantial recovery in demand amid the coronavirus pandemic;
  • The United States on Thursday agreed to a four-month suspension of retaliatory tariffs imposed on British goods such as Scotch whisky over a long-running aircraft subsidy row, with both sides pledging to use the time to resolve the dispute;
  • China set a modest annual economic growth target, at above 6%, and pledged to create more jobs in cities than last year, as the world’s second-biggest economy planned a careful course out of a year disrupted by the effects of COVID-19;
  • U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Thursday repeated his pledge to keep credit loose and flowing until Americans are back to work, rebutting investors who have openly doubted he can stick to that promise once the pandemic passes and the economy surges on its own;
  • Australia has asked the European Commission to review a decision by Italy to block a shipment of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, while stressing the missing doses would not affect the rollout of Australia’s inoculation programme;
  • Lufthansa may permanently ground more jets to emerge leaner from the coronavirus pandemic, the German airline group said on Thursday, as it reported a record 6.7 billion euro loss for 2020;
  • The Auditing Association of German Banks registered complaints about Greensill Bank with Germany’s financial watchdog BaFin in early 2020, a spokesman told Reuters on Thursday;
  • One of the main highlights today will be the US jobs report for February, which is also the first jobs report to entirely cover the Biden administration’s time in office. Recent months have seen a weakening in the pace of the labour market recovery, with the 3-month average change in nonfarm payrolls standing at just +29k, the slowest since the height of the pandemic last year.

The summary as at 04.03.21

European markets are heading for a lower open Thursday as a rise in bond yields saw jitters return to global stocks once again.

  • Resurgent worries about rising U.S. bond yields hit global shares as investors waited to see if Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will address concerns about the risk of a rapid rise in long-term borrowing costs;
  • Oil prices rose for a second straight session, as the possibility that OPEC+ producers might decide against increasing output at a key meeting later in the day lent support, alongside a drop in U.S. fuel inventories;
  • Finance minister Rishi Sunak delivered what he hopes will be a last big spending splurge to get Britain’s economy through the COVID-19 crisis, and announced a corporate tax hike from 2023 as he began to focus on the huge hit to the public finances;
  • The U.S. Senate delayed the start of debate on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill until at least Thursday after reaching a deal to phase out $1,400 payments to higher-income Americans in a compromise with moderate Democratic senators;
  • The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed a flagship election reform bill on Wednesday that would update voting procedures and require states to turn over the task of redrawing congressional districts to independent commissions;
  • Newly-formed Stellantis, a combination of Peugeot-maker PSA and Fiat Chrysler (FCA), wants to use its clout to take on rivals racing to produce more electric vehicles, Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said on Wednesday;
  • ASML Holding has extended a deal to sell chip manufacturing equipment to Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp, China’s largest chipmaker, until the end of this year, the Dutch company said in a statement on Wednesday;
  • Italy’s No. 2 bank UniCredit plans to appoint more women to its board, including Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, the former head of Virgin Money and founder of open banking fintech Snoop.

The summary as at 03.03.21

European stocks are expected to open higher at the market open Wednesday, with investors in the U.K. keen to see what taxation and spending plans the British government reveals in the annual budget statement.

  • Japanese shares eked out gains as investors picked up cyclical stocks on hopes of a quicker economic recovery from the pandemic-led recession;
  • Oil prices rose, boosted by demand hopes on progress made in U.S. vaccine rollouts, while uncertainty over how much supply OPEC+ will restore to the market at its Thursday meeting and a big build in U.S. crude stocks capped gains;
  • The United States will have enough COVID-19 vaccine for every American adult by the end of May, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday after Merck & Co agreed to make rival Johnson & Johnson’s inoculation;
  • China’s services sector activity grew at its slowest pace in 10 months in February as firms struggled with sluggish demand and high costs, a private sector survey showed, prompting them to cut jobs;
  • Negotiations over President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill go into overdrive this week as the U.S. Senate begins debate over the sweeping legislation and lawmakers jockey to include pet projects, while tossing others overboard;
  • Rio Tinto said its chair and a board director would step down, bowing to investor pressure over the destruction of two ancient Aboriginal rock shelters for an iron ore mine last year in Western Australia;
  • Boeing has raised concerns over the design of arch-rival Airbus’ newest narrow-body jet, the A321XLR, saying a novel type of fuel tank could pose fire risks;
  • France’s banking industry body wants a new European Union law that would force non-EU banks to shift swathes of euro derivatives clearing from the City of London to Frankfurt, people familiar with the matter said.

The summary as at 02.03.21

European stocks are expected to open in negative territory on Tuesday, retreating from gains made in the previous trading session.

  • Japanese stocks fell, giving up early gains as some investors booked profits on defensive energy and utility shares before the end of the fiscal year this month;
  • Oil prices fell more than 1%, extending losses that began last week, as investors unwound long positions on concern that OPEC may agree to increase global supply in a meeting this week and Chinese demand may be slipping;
  • The U.S. Senate will start debating President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday after Democrats backed down from an effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 as part of it;
  • Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was found guilty of corruption on Monday and sentenced to three years in prison, a stunning fall from grace for a man who for five years bestrode the national and global stage;
  • The United States is expected to impose sanctions to punish Russia for the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny as early as Tuesday, two sources familiar with the matter said;
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles pleaded guilty on Monday to charges it conspired with company executives to make illegal, lavish gifts to United Auto Workers (UAW) leaders and undermined workers’ confidence in collective bargaining;
  • Problems at AstraZeneca’s European production site in January kicked off a six-week push to get a version of its COVID-19 vaccine made at an Indian facility approved by Canada’s drug regulator, according to the Canadian pharmaceutical company that filed the application;
  • France’s Danone said on Monday its board has voted to separate the chairman and chief executive roles held by Emmanuel Faber, and launch the search for a new CEO following calls from several shareholders to shake up governance;
  • Zoom Video Commuinications Inc forecast current-quarter revenue above expectations, as the company expects millions of people to continue using its video-conferencing platform to work remotely and attend online classes, sending its shares up 10%.

The summary as at 01.03.21

European opened higher on Monday as global markets rally on falling U.S. Treasury yields and boosted by positive news on the coronavirus vaccine front.

  • Asian shares rallied as some semblance of calm returned to bond markets after last week’s wild ride, while progress in the huge U.S. stimulus package underpinned optimism about the global economy;
  • Oil prices rebounded more than $1 after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a huge stimulus package, although a drop in China’s February factory activity growth capped gains;
  • Iran on Sunday ruled out holding an informal meeting with the United States and other major powers to discuss ways to salvage the unravelling 2015 nuclear deal, insisting Washington must first lift all its unilateral sanctions;
  • A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel voted unanimously on Sunday to recommend Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 shot for widespread use, and U.S. officials said initial shipments would start on Sunday;
  • Protesters marched in Myanmar in defiance of a crackdown by security forces that killed at least 18 people a day earlier, as calls grew for a more united international response after the worst violence since a coup one month ago;
  • AstraZeneca has sold its 7.7% stake in Moderna for more than $1 billion after the U.S. biotechnology company’s shares soared on the back of its coronavirus vaccine breakthrough, The Times reported;
  • Credit Suisse is exploring ways to reduce ties to Greensill Capital over concerns about the finance company’s exposure to a single client, U.K.-based steel magnate Sanjeev Gupta, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday;
  • British insurer Aviva plans to become a net zero carbon emissions company by 2040, it said, claiming this was the most demanding target set by any major insurer worldwide.

The summary as at 26.02.21

  • Asian stocks skidded to one-month lows as a rout in global bond markets sent yields flying and spooked investors amid fears the heavy losses suffered could trigger distressed selling in other assets;
  • Oil prices fell as a collapse in bond prices led to gains in the U.S. dollar and expectations grew that with oil prices back above pre-pandemic levels, more supply is likely to come back to the market;
  • Katherine Tai, President Joe Biden’s top trade nominee, backed tariffs as a “legitimate tool” to counter China’s state-driven economic model and vowed to hold Beijing to its prior commitments, while promising a sweeping new approach to U.S. trade;
  • President Joe Biden on Thursday directed U.S. military air strikes in eastern Syria against facilities belonging to what the Pentagon said were Iran-backed militia, in a calibrated response to rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq;
  • Facebook ended a one-week blackout of Australian news on its popular social media site on Friday and announced preliminary commercial agreements with three small local publishers;
  • AstraZeneca boss Pascal Soriot said on Thursday he hoped to meet the European Union’s expectations on the number of COVID-19 vaccines the company can deliver to the bloc in the second quarter, after big cuts in the first three months of the year;
  • Italy’s Monte dei Paschi said on Thursday it was working to reduce its legal risks while the European Union assessed the state-owned bank’s ability to stay in business before unlocking more public aid;
  • Saint-Gobain’s Chief Executive Pierre-André de Chalendar will step down this summer, the French construction materials group announced on Thursday, while it reported record second-half results, fuelled by an increased demand on the renovation market which should continue in the following years.

The summary as at 25.02.21

  • Risk appetite showed signs of returning to global markets over the last 24 hours as Fed Chair Powell stuck to his reassuring tone and continued to signal that the central bank would keep policy accommodative for some time to come.
  • Perhaps the most headline-grabbing comment from Powell was that it could take more than 3 years before the Fed reached its inflation goal of 2%, and he reaffirmed his message that the labour market was very far from the Fed’s goal.
  • Energy stocks saw the largest gains thanks to another sizeable rise in oil prices. In fact, both Brent crude and WTI climbed to their highest levels in over a year yesterday, at $67.04/bbl and $63.22/bbl respectively, as the combination of tighter supplies and recovering economic demand proved supportive, and they’re holding those levels this morning.
  • Overnight in Asia, markets have taken Wall Street’s lead with the Nikkei, Hang Seng, Shanghai Comp and ASX all rising. Futures on the S&P 500 are also trading higher.
  • Multiple newspapers in the UK have reported that the government is potentially planning for a rise in corporation tax at next week’s budget on Wednesday.
  • Staff at the FDA in the US wrote that Johnson & Johnson vaccine was safe and effective, which comes ahead of an FDA committee meeting tomorrow where they will be discussing whether to give it an emergency use authorization. Unlike the other vaccines authorised in the US, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose, and the company has said that they will initially be able to provide 4m shots.
  • The German GDP reading for Q4 was revised up to show +0.3% growth quarter-on-quarter (vs. +0.1% initial estimate). Looking at the breakdown, private consumption saw the biggest hit, though savings rate rose again to 17.7% which supports the argument that pent-up demand will support the economy in the summer half and potentially add to emerging inflationary pressures.
  • The other main data release were the new home sales figures from the US, which rose to a stronger-than-expected annualised rate of 923k in January (vs. 856k expected).
  • To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the second estimate of Q4 GDP, weekly initial jobless claims and the preliminary January durable goods orders reading. Over in Europe, there’s also the final Euro Area consumer confidence reading for February, and the January M3 money supply figure.

The summary as at 24.02.21

  • Today markets the one-year anniversary of the initial Covid market slump where the markets fell in excess of 3% on Monday after we learnt that Italian cases had shot up over the weekend. Indeed, since this point the NASDAQ is actually up just over 46%, while the S&P 500 has gained c.20%.
  • Asian markets are weaker this morning with the Hang Seng leading the declines on news that the city will raise stamp duty on stock trading.
  • All eyes were on Fed Chair Powell yesterday, who told Congress there was “hope for a return to more normal conditions” this year but signaled that the central bank intended to maintain its heavy support of the economy. His comments pointed to no early Fed tightening of monetary policy or drawdown of asset purchases even with a brighter economic outlook – and helped technology shares claw back most of their losses after a sharp fall early in the day.
  • The prospect for an improvement in the US Covid-19 situation, combined with large-scale fiscal stimulus backed by congressional Democrats and President Joe Biden – has prompted many economists to upgrade their growth forecasts for 2021.
  • In a sign of just how much demand is lying latent, EasyJet plc reported that ticket sales more than quadrupled shortly after UK Prime Minister Johnson indicated that international travel could begin as soon as May 17.

The summary as at 19.02.21

  • Global equities resumed their decline yesterday as concerns continued to rise among investors that higher sovereign bond yields could call a halt on the recent strong rally in risky assets.
  • Overnight, Asian markets have taken Wall Street’s lead with the Nikkei, Hang Seng, Shanghai Comp, CSI and Kospi all trading lower. Futures on the S&P are down –0.21%.
  • Weak economic data came out of the US, where the weekly initial jobless claims for the week through February 13 hit a 4-week high of 861k (vs. 773k expected), and the previous week’s reading was also revised up to +55k. The weekly frequency of this reading means it’s one of the timeliest indicators we get on the state of the economy.
  • Oil prices reversed after hitting their highest levels in more than a year as the disruption to oil refineries in Texas remains the dominant story. Prices are being weighed down by news that the White House is willing to talk to Iran to discuss a “diplomatic way forward” in efforts to return to the nuclear deal, a move which could potentially lead to more crude exports from the nation.
  • The release of the ECB minutes yesterday revealed that it was mentioned that “stock prices could eventually become vulnerable to a rise in real yields globally.” Another notable line from the minutes was that “it was argued that the fast rebound in growth foreseen in the December staff projections might be too optimistic, with growth in the second quarter of 2021 possibly at risk from extended lockdowns.”
  • Mario Draghi’s new government in Italy resoundingly won a confidence vote in the lower house yesterday by a 535-56 vote, which comes on the heels of the big victory in the Senate the previous day.
  • Walmart had its worst day since March last year after the company said that net sales and earnings per share were both expected to decline in FY22.
  • Today’s main market highlights will be the release of the flash PMIs from around the world, which will give an initial indication of how the global economy has been faring into February.
  • Corporate earnings will remain a key driver of individual share price action on Friday, with Danone, Hermes, Renault, Allianz and Swiss Re among the blue-chip companies reporting before the bell.

The summary as at 17.02.21

  • U.S. Treasury yields hit one-year highs on Wednesday, lending support to the dollar but pressuring lofty valuations for stocks, as investors reckoned that a stimulus-fuelled global recovery will eventually bring rising inflation;
  • A historic winter storm has killed at least 21 people, left millions of Texans without power and spun killer tornadoes into the U.S. Southeast on Tuesday;
  • China will pay a price for its human rights abuses, U.S. President Joe Biden warned on Tuesday, responding to queries at a televised event on the Asian nation’s handling of Muslim minorities in its far western region of Xinjiang;
  • Opponents of Myanmar’s military coup called for more big protests on Wednesday to show that the army’s assertion of widespread public support for overthrowing elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and holding new elections was false;
  • Oil major BP is launching its first share award scheme to rally its more than 60,000 employees around CEO Bernard Looney’s plan to shift to renewable energy following a bruising year of mass layoffs, bonus suspensions and spending cuts;
  • Nestle said it would sell Pure Life and some other struggling North American water brands to two private equity firms for $4.3 billion, as the food giant doubles down on its premium offerings including Perrier;
  • German sportswear maker Adidas plans to sell or spin-off its underperforming Reebok brand, 15 years after it bought the U.S. fitness label to help compete with arch-rival Nike;
  • Sales at Kering’s star Gucci fashion brand fell more than expected in the fourth quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic kept consumers from travelling abroad and shopping;
  • Gucci drives the bulk of revenues and profits at the French conglomerate and has been one of the industry’s top performers in recent years.

The summary as at 16.02.21

  • Asian shares advanced, putting world equities on course to extend their bull run for a 12th consecutive session as optimism about the global economic recovery and expectations of low-interest rates drive investments into riskier assets;
  • Oil prices rose as a cold front shut wells and refineries in Texas, the biggest crude producing state in the United States, the world’s biggest oil producer;
  • The World Health Organization on Monday listed AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, widening access to the relatively inexpensive shot in the developing world;
  • The eurozone is likely to decide between March and May when and how governments would start tapering support to their economies as vaccination campaigns allow the lifting of pandemic lockdowns and economic activity picks up, top eurozone officials said on Monday;
  • Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the recent stock price rally reflected market optimism over the global economic outlook, brushing aside views its ultra-loose monetary policy was fueling an asset price bubble;
  • BHP reported its best first-half profit in seven years and declared a record interim dividend, as top metals user China’s strong appetite for iron ore to support its infrastructure push kept prices elevated;
  • French tire manufacturer Michelin reported a 2020 full-year net profit of 625 million euros ($758.6 million), a sharp decline from 2019′s 1.73 billion euros. However, the company projected up to 10% growth in its markets for 2021 and increased its dividends to shareholders;
  • Glencore Plc reinstated its dividend on the back of record trading profits as the world’s biggest commodity trader reports its final results under the leadership of billionaire Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg;
  • Glencore benefited from profitable bets on volatile oil swings in the first half of the year, and metals earnings jumped after prices soared following a plunge earlier in 2020. It’s also seeing a turnaround at the long-troubled African copper business. The company has brought its debt back down to within a target range and said it’s planning for further improvements this year;
  • Norway’s oil industry employers struck a wage bargain with the Safe labour union, preventing a strike at the Mongstad crude terminal and shutdowns of major offshore oil and gas fields;
  • Italy has given a green light to the takeover bid Credit Agricole Italia plans to make for small lender Credito Valtellinese (Creval), the French bank’s Italian arm said on Monday.

The summary as at 15.02.21

  • Asian shares advanced to record highs as successful coronavirus vaccine rollouts globally raise hopes of a rapid economic recovery amid new fiscal aid from Washington;
  • Oil prices rose to their highest in more than a year, after a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said it intercepted an explosive-laden drone fired by the Iran-aligned Houthi group, raising fears of fresh Middle East tensions;
  • Japan’s economy expanded more than expected in the fourth quarter, extending the recovery from its worst postwar recession thanks to a rebound in overseas demand that boosted exports and capital spending;
  • Former President Donald Trump’s acquittal on charges of inciting a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol left Democrats and Republicans deeply divided on Sunday even as his Democratic successor, Joe Biden, sought to move on with his political and economic agenda;
  • Myanmar’s ousted leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been remanded in custody until Wednesday, not Monday as previously thought, her lawyer told media, as protesters began gathering again to demand her release and an end to military rule;
  • Coca-Cola Amatil said that Coca-Cola’s European bottler raised its takeover offer by around 6% to A$9.93 billion as global trading conditions improve;
  • U.S. investment company Artisan Partners, which is putting pressure on France’s Danone to shake up its management amid criticism over weak returns, will meet several of its board members next week, a source close to the matter said on Sunday;
  • German chemical company Lanxess is buying U.S.-based Emerald Kalama Chemical for an enterprise value of about $1.08 billion to strengthen its consumer business.

The summary as at 12.02.21

European stocks were set to open slightly lower on Friday, as investors awaited a fresh batch of economic data and monitored the gathering pace of vaccinations against Covid-19.

  • Japan’s benchmark stock average Nikkei snapped a four-session rally, slipping from a more than 30-year high hit in the previous trading session, as investors booked profits but gains in Toyota Motor and chip shares capped the losses;
  • Oil prices fell a second day, extending losses after OPEC cut its demand forecast and the International Energy Agency said the market was still over-supplied;
  • U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held their first phone call as leaders and appeared at odds on most issues, even as Xi warned that confrontation would be a “disaster” for both nations;
  • Supporters of ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi called for tougher international action against the new junta after Washington announced a first round of sanctions following six days of pro-democracy demonstrations;
  • Members of Italy’s 5-Star Movement voted on Thursday to back Prime Minister designate Mario Draghi, opening the way for the former European Central Bank chief to take office at the head of a broad government of national unity;
  • Amsterdam has displaced London as Europe’s biggest share trading centre after Britain left the European Union’s single market, and picked up a chunk of UK derivatives business along the way, according to data published on Thursday;
  • New York-based municipal bond insurer MBIA’s unit MBIA Insurance Corp entered an agreement to settle a litigation it filed in 2009 against lender Credit Suisse and certain affiliated entities over property debt in the United States;
  • AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine is not perfect, but will have a big impact on the pandemic, its chief executive predicted on Thursday, as the drugmaker pledged to double output by April and the African Union gave its backing for the shot;
  • Shares of Disney jumped more than 2% in extended trading after the company reported strong growth in paid streaming subscribers and crushed expectations in its earnings report for its fiscal first quarter of 2021. Disney said it now has almost 95 million paid subscribers on its Disney+ streaming service;
  • L’Oreal, the world’s biggest cosmetics group, posted on Thursday higher-than-expected revenue growth for the fourth quarter, helped by a strong performance in China and by booming online sales during the coronavirus crisis. The French owner of Maybelline said sales reached Eur7.88 billion in the October to December period, flat from a year earlier on a reported basis but up 4.8% when stripping out currency effects and acquisitions.

The summary as at 11.02.21

European stocks are expected to open flat on Thursday amid a pause in Wall Street rally and more muted trade in Asia Pacific due to the Lunar New Year public holiday.

  • Investors in Europe will be keeping an eye on more earnings reports Thursday. Drugmaker AstraZeneca, banks Credit Agricole, Commerzbank and Unicredit and cosmetics company L’Oreal are among the biggest names to report earning, as well as Arcelormittal, Schneider Electric and Zurich Insurance;
  • AstraZeneca has reported a 10% rise in product sales for 2020, a year in which the drugmaker has featured prominently for its work developing a coronavirus vaccine, alongside the University of Oxford. The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant reported product sales totaling $25.8 billion for 2020. For the fourth quarter, sales rose 12% to just over $7 billion — the first time for “many years” the company has topped this figure. Total revenue came in at $26.6 billion for the year, and $7.4 billion for the fourth quarter;
  • French electrical equipment group Schneider Electric said on Thursday it expects its revenues and core profit margin to grow this year, after a second-half rebound helped it beat market expectations for 2020. The Paris-based conglomerate, which sells products ranging from electrical car chargers to industrial robotics, said it would now focus on integrating its recent acquisitions and creating synergies. For 2021, Schneider forecast a continued recovery in Western Europe and strong growth in its other regions supported by robust demand for data centers;
  • Investors will be digesting comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday. He said that policy will need to stay “patiently accommodative” and that the U.S. is “a long way” from where it needs to be in terms of employment despite the economy having reclaimed more than 12 million jobs since the early days of the Covid pandemic;
  • Trading in Asia-Pacific was quieter overnight as multiple major markets in the region, including China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan were closed for holidays. Markets in Hong Kong and Singapore also ended their trading sessions earlier than usual on Lunar New Year eve.

The summary as at 09.02.21

  • Asian stock markets rose after a record-setting day on Wall Street, while Bitcoin paused for breath after an overnight endorsement from Tesla sent the cryptocurrency up.
  • Oil prices edged up to their highest in 13 months as supply cuts by major producers and optimism over fuel demand recovery support energy markets.
  • Bitcoin took another large stride toward mainstream acceptance on Monday after billionaire Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company Tesla revealed it had bought $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency and would soon accept it as a form of payment for cars, sending the cryptocurrency shooting higher.
  • Spending by British consumers plunged in January at the fastest rate in seven months as the country went back into a tight COVID-19 lockdown, payment card firm Barclaycard said.
  • Japan’s currency in circulation and bank deposits rose at a record pace in January, data showed, a sign companies and households continued to hoard cash due to uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Bain Capital and Cinven are acquiring Lonza’s Specialty Ingredients division in a deal worth $4.7 billion, the Swiss contract drug maker said, as it focuses on its faster-growing unit that supplies drug and biotech companies.
  • German chauffeur service Blacklane has acquired a majority stake in Jaguar Land Rover-backed Havn, a premium all-electric cab service in London, for an undisclosed sum to speed up the electrification of its private hire fleet.
  • Health officials around the world gave their backing to the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19, after a study showing it had little effect against mild disease caused by the variant now spreading quickly in South Africa rang global alarm.

The summary as at 05.02.21

  • Global shares closed in on their record peak, with Asian shares taking their lead from Wall Street, as progress in vaccine distribution prompted bets on further normalisation in the global economy and earnings recovery;
  • Oil prices climbed to their highest levels in a year, extending a run of strong gains on signs of economic growth in the United States and a continued commitment by producers to hold back crude supply;
  • Shares of GameStop and others favored recently by retail investors fell further on Thursday, while U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she needed to “understand deeply” the trading frenzy that has gripped Wall Street;
  • Japan’s household spending fell for the first time in three months in December, in a sign consumer sentiment was weakening even before the government called a state of emergency to control a new wave of the coronavirus in the country;
  • U.S. President Joe Biden promised a new era after the scattershot foreign policy of his predecessor, Donald Trump, declaring “America is back” on the global stage in his first diplomatic address as president;
  • Production cuts by automakers Ford and Stellantis due to the global semiconductor chip shortage and warnings from suppliers Robert Bosch and German chip maker Infineon on Thursday have raised concerns the problem will only get worse this year for the industry;
  • A bid by Britain’s Liberty Steel for the steel division of Germany’s Thyssenkrupp still lacks clarity on financing, a leader for the powerful IG Metall union said;
  • German airline Lufthansa said it had issued a 1.6 billion euro bond on Thursday, money that will be used to repay part of a bailout given last year by state lender KfW to help it cope with the COVID-19 crisis;
  • Despite eurozone banks having restrictions on dividends given the severe economic crisis in the region, BNP Paribas will pay out a dividend of 1.11 euros per share in May in cash. BNP’s CFO said he bank is nonetheless following the ECB’s recommendation by announcing a dividend within certain parameters advised by the central bank;
  • Sanofi SA on Friday posted a swing to profit for the fourth quarter of 2020 but said that sales declined on year. The French pharmaceutical company said that net profit came in at 1.08 billion euros ($1.29 billion) for the period, up from a loss of EUR10 million in the same period last year;
  • Markets’ attention today will be on the US jobs report for January. Expectations are for +200k increase in nonfarm payrolls after the –140k decrease in jobs back in December.

The summary as at 04.02.21

  • Overnight in Asia, the recent equity rally has unwound a little. Futures on the S&P 500 are slightly down while the US dollar index is marginally up;
  • Oil prices rose to their highest level since the pandemic started on the back of a communique from the OPEC+ which said that it will keep pushing to quickly clear the oil surplus left behind by the pandemic;
  • Italian assets surged after former ECB President Mario Draghi accepted a mandate from President Mattarella to from the next Italian government, an outcome that investors have taken extremely well;
  • President Biden told House Democrats that he was more concerned that too little would be spent rather than too much when it came to economic relief;
  • Data yesterday showed that inflation in the Euro Area in January rose by more than expected, with the flash estimate showing prices were up +0.9% on the previous year (vs +0.6% expected), bringing to an end 5 successive months in which the Euro Area had been in deflationary territory;
  • Over in the US, the ISM services index for January rose to a stronger-than-expected 58.7 (vs. 56.7 expected), which is its strongest level since February 2019;
  • Separately, ahead of tomorrow’s jobs report, the ADP’s report of private payrolls also rose by a much stronger-than-expected +174k in January (vs. +70k expected);
  • Deutsche Bank swung to a small profit in 2020, its first since 2014, on the back of strong gains at its investment banking division;
  • Daimler AG said it will split its Mercedes-Benz car division and its Daimler Trucks division into two separate companies, aiming to spin off the trucks business to shareholders – a move that highlights how conventional auto makers are under pressure to boost their stock-market value.

The summary as at 03.02.21

European stocks are expected to open steady to slightly weaker as a spike in short-term Chinese interest rates fanned worries about policy tightening in the world’s second-largest economy, although improving corporate earnings and easing market volatility helped balance the mood.

  • Overnight in Asia, the recent equity rally has unwound a little. Futures on the S&P 500 are slightly down while the US dollar index is marginally up;
  • Oil prices rose to their highest level since the pandemic started on the back of a communique from the OPEC+ which said that it will keep pushing to quickly clear the oil surplus left behind by the pandemic;
  • Italian assets surged after former ECB President Mario Draghi accepted a mandate from President Mattarella to from the next Italian government, an outcome that investors have taken extremely well;
  • President Biden told House Democrats that he was more concerned that too little would be spent rather than too much when it came to economic relief;
  • Data yesterday showed that inflation in the Euro Area in January rose by more than expected, with the flash estimate showing prices were up +0.9% on the previous year (vs +0.6% expected), bringing to an end 5 successive months in which the Euro Area had been in deflationary territory;
  • Over in the US, the ISM services index for January rose to a stronger-than-expected 58.7 (vs. 56.7 expected), which is its strongest level since February 2019;
  • Separately, ahead of tomorrow’s jobs report, the ADP’s report of private payrolls also rose by a much stronger-than-expected +174k in January (vs. +70k expected);
  • Deutsche Bank swung to a small profit in 2020, its first since 2014, on the back of strong gains at its investment banking division;
  • Daimler AG said it will split its Mercedes-Benz car division and its Daimler Trucks division into two separate companies, aiming to spin off the trucks business to shareholders – a move that highlights how conventional auto makers are under pressure to boost their stock-market value.

The summary as at 02.02.21

European markets look set to start the trading week on a positive note, like their global counterparts, despite a week of turbulent trading last week after retail investors prompted what Goldman Sachs has called the biggest short squeeze in 25 years. Overnight Sunday, U.S. stock index futures turned positive in volatile trading following last week’s heavy losses — the worst for the market since October.

  • Asian shares rallied and U.S. stock futures recouped early losses as newly empowered retail investors turned their attention to precious metals, promising a respite to some hard-hit hedge funds;
  • Oil prices edged higher after a weak start, holding on to the past three months of gains, although patchy coronavirus vaccine rollouts, new infections and the discovery of new variants are keeping a lid on prices;
  • Myanmar’s military seized power in a coup against the democratically elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained along with other leaders of her National League for Democracy party in early morning raids;
  • Manufacturing in China and Japan suffered in January, while South Korea and Taiwan saw improvement amid a resurgence in coronavirus infections, underscoring the fragile nature of the region’s economic recovery;
  • Wall Street is gearing up for another week of market mayhem, with signs that the retail frenzy that pumped up the stock prices of the likes of GameStop and AMC is spreading to other assets;
  • AstraZeneca will deliver nine million more doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union in the first quarter of this year, making a total of 40 million for the period, and will start deliveries one week earlier than expected, the president of the European Commission said on Sunday;
  • British online fashion retailer ASOS is on the verge of a deal to buy Topshop and Miss Selfridge from the administrators of British tycoon Philip Green’s Arcadia Group for almost 300 million pounds, Sky News reported;
  • Emmanuel Faber, the chief executive and chairman of French food group Danone, told the weekly Journal du Dimanche that he did not hold a “dogmatic” view as to whether the role should be split in two.

The summary as at 29.01.21

  • An army of retail investors that has routed Wall Street’s professionals in recent days was dealt a blow on Thursday, after online brokerages restricted purchases of red-hot GameStop and other stocks that had soared this week;
  • Europe’s fight to secure COVID-19 vaccine supplies intensified on Thursday when the European Union warned drug companies such as AstraZeneca that it would use all legal means or even block exports unless they agreed to deliver shots as promised;
  • Germany’s vaccine commission recommended that the AstraZeneca vaccine was only used for those aged 18-64, and not in the 65+ group, marking a contrast from the UK where it was approved for use in all adults;
  • US GDP in Q4 grew at an annualised rate of +4.0% (vs. +4.2% expected), meaning that GDP for the full year in 2020 contracted by –3.5%. That marks the worst annual performance for the US economy since 1946, and is biggest than the –2.5% contraction in 2009;
  • Weekly jobless claims from the US, fell to 847k (vs. 875k expected) in the week through January 23;
  • Japan’s industrial output extended declines in December as factories struggled with a hit to demand from expanded COVID-19 lockdown measures globally, suggesting the economic recovery was slowing;
  • Britain is banning direct passenger flights to and from the United Arab Emirates from Friday, shutting down the world’s busiest international airline route from Dubai to London;
  • Shares of Qualtrics International jumped on Thursday in their Nasdaq debut, valuing the firm at nearly $21 billion, against the backdrop of a capital market frenzy that has seen investors flock to technology stocks;
  • Daimler said on Thursday a strong fourth quarter helped it post better-than-expected 2020 group operating profit and that it was optimistic for 2021;
  • SAP SE said Friday that net profit for the fourth quarter of 2020 fell year-on-year, while it confirmed declines in operating profit and revenue as pre-announced earlier this month. Reporting on a non-IFRS basis, the German software company said fourth-quarter net profit slipped to 2 billion euros ($2.42 billion) from EUR2.17 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019.

The summary as at 28.01.21

European stocks opened lower Thursday as global markets react to a sharp sell-off on Wall Street Wednesday.

  • Asian shares slid while the safe-haven dollar rallied as a sudden sell-off on Wall Street and delays with coronavirus vaccines served as an excuse to book profits on recent hefty gains;
  • Oil prices slid on fresh worries about weakened fuel demand, after England clamped down on travel and China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, also sought to limit Lunar New Year trips to stem a surge in COVID-19 cases;
  • The Federal Reserve left its key overnight interest rate near zero and made no change to its monthly bond purchases, pledging again to keep those economic pillars in place until there is a full rebound from the pandemic-triggered recession;
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson indicated the COVID-19 lockdown in England would last until March 8 when schools could start to reopen as the government announced new measures to clamp down on travel to and from Britain;
  • The European Union failed to make a breakthrough in crisis talks with AstraZeneca and demanded the drugmaker spell out how it would supply the bloc with reserved doses of COVID-19 vaccine from plants in Europe and Britain;
  • Fiat Chrysler said it will plead guilty to charges it conspired with company executives to make illegal, lavish gifts to United Auto Workers leaders and undermined workers’ confidence in collective bargaining;
  • Rio Tinto named a new head of its iron ore division as part of a leadership reshuffle as it works to rebuild partnerships with Indigenous groups after the global miner destroyed ancient, sacred caves in Australia;
  • Tesla reported record deliveries in the fourth quarter, boosted by increased demand for electric vehicles. But its shares fell in after-hours trading after profit fell short of analyst expectations. While many car firms were hit hard in 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic, Tesla bucked the trend.
  • Apple finished 2020 with its most profitable quarter ever as sales of its high end iPhones, tablets and laptops soared amid the pandemic. The company announced that sales for the three months ending on 26 December 2020 totalled $111.4bn and it had made a profit of $28.7bn, 29% higher than the same period last year. The holiday period is a crucial time for Apple, accounting for 30% of its sales, and 2020’s bumper quarter was boosted by strong sales of its latest iPhone. The blowout results, stronger than Wall Street had expected, were fueled in large part by sales of the company’s latest iPhones. iPhone revenues were $65.6bn for the quarter, up 17% year-over-year.

The summary as at 27.01.21

European stocks are expected to open flat to lower on Wednesday, echoing an uncertain trend seen in other global markets overnight.

  • Asian equities slipped as investors looked to the Federal Reserve’s guidance on its monetary policy while futures for U.S. tech shares jumped after strong earnings from Microsoft;
  • Oil prices climbed after industry data showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell unexpectedly last week and China, the world’s second-biggest oil user, reported its lowest daily rise in COVID-19 cases, bolstering hopes of a pick-up in demand;
  • The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday raised its forecast for global economic growth in 2021 and said the coronavirus-triggered downturn last year – the biggest peacetime contraction since the Great Depression – would be nearly a full percentage point less severe than expected;
  • Global coronavirus cases surpassed 100 million, according to a Reuters tally, as countries around the world struggle with new virus variants and vaccine shortfalls;
  • Europe urged pharmaceutical companies on Tuesday to honour their commitments to supply coronavirus vaccines, as delivery cuts and delays dim hopes of a quick fix to COVID-19 and increase talk of protectionism and hoarding;
  • UniCredit is set to name Andrea Orcel as chief executive, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, putting one of Europe’s best-known dealmakers at the helm just as the coronavirus crisis is pushing banks to merge;
  • AstraZeneca has offered to bring forward some deliveries of its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union while the bloc has asked the British drugmaker if it can divert doses from the UK to make up for a shortfall in supplies, European officials told Reuters;
  • Booming sales at LVMH’s fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, particularly in China, helped to cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has crimped revenues at the French luxury group;
  • Microsoft Corp on Tuesday reported its Azure cloud computing services grew 50%, the second quarter of acceleration in a business that had begun to slow as the global pandemic benefited the software maker’s investment on working and learning from home;
  • Coming into General Electric’s fourth-quarter earnings report, investors were focused on free cash flow. GE delivered a number that was much better than expected, helping shares to surge 11% higher at the open yesterday;
  • Johnson & Johnson said it expects to report pivotal results of a large clinical trial of its Covid-19 vaccine by early next week, and to deliver 100 million doses for use in the U.S. by the end of June if the data are positive and the vaccine is authorized;
  • Verizon has big 5G plans for 2021 after formally launching its next-gen network in October of last year, and close to the top of its list of priorities is expanding coverage of its ultra-fast mmWave coverage. That flavor of 5G is currently restricted to select areas within select cities in the US, and it’s highly dependent on your proximity to a Verizon 5G site due to the inherent technology that powers it;
  • Today is another important day for earnings with Apple, Tesla, Facebook and Boeing amongst the heavyweights reporting results today.

The summary as at 26.01.21

European stocks are expected to open in mixed territory on Tuesday, with investors focusing on an emerging battle between vaccine maker AstraZeneca and the EU, and on political uncertainty in Italy.

  • Asian stocks dipped, retreating from record highs as lingering concerns about potential roadblocks to the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion stimulus weighed on sentiment, dragging U.S. Treasury yields to three-weeks lows;
  • Oil prices fell as fading hopes for a rapid approval of new U.S. economic stimulus and mounting new coronavirus cases raised questions over the pace of any recovery in demand;
  • U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday that Democrats may try to pass much of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief bill using a process that would bypass a Republican filibuster and could pass with a majority vote;
  • Leon Black said on Monday he would step down as chief executive at Apollo Global Management, following an independent review of his ties to the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein;
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday he was looking at toughening border quarantine rules because of the risk of “vaccine-busting” new coronavirus variants;
    Survey-software seller Qualtrics International, owned by business software group SAP, is aiming for a valuation of roughly $15 billion in its U.S. initial public offering, as it tees up for a blockbuster market debut;
  • AstraZeneca denied on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine is not very effective for people over 65, after German media reports said officials fear the vaccine may not be approved in the European Union for use in the elderly;
  • UBS delivered a significant 4Q20 pre-tax profit beat driven by better revenues in Asset Management, Investment Bank and Group Functions and better credit losses;
  • Swiss luxury watchmakers Hublot and Zenith, both part of French group LVMH, expect sales to rebound in 2021, after a difficult 2020 and a challenging start to the new year, their chief executives said on Monday.

The summary as at 25.01.21

European stocks are expected to open higher on Monday as investors around the world keep across developments on the coronavirus pandemic, and plans for U.S. stimulus measures.

  • Asian shares rose as concerns over rising COVID-19 cases and delays in vaccine supplies were eclipsed by expectations of a $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus plan to help revive the U.S. economy;
  • Oil prices slipped for a second straight session as renewed COVID-19 lockdowns raised fresh concerns about global fuel demand;
  • Officials in President Joe Biden’s administration tried to head off Republican concerns that his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief proposal was too expensive on a Sunday call with Republican and Democratic lawmakers, some of whom pushed for a smaller plan targeting vaccine distribution;
  • Australia approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use but warned AstraZeneca’s international production problems mean the country would need to distribute a locally manufactured shot earlier than planned;
  • China was the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in 2020 as the coronavirus outbreak spread across the world during the course of the year, with the Chinese economy having brought in $163 billion in inflows;
  • Deutsche Bank said on Sunday it began a probe in relation to engagement with some clients after the Financial Times reported earlier that the German lender was investigating the alleged mis-selling of investment banking products;
  • German car manufacturer Volkswagen is in talks with its main suppliers about possible claims for damages due to a shortage of semiconductors, a company spokesman said on Sunday;
  • Siemens Energy, which makes turbines for the power sector, on Sunday said it swung to a core profit in its fiscal first quarter, helped by cost cuts and unspecified temporary effects.

The summary as at 21.01.21

European stocks opened higher Thursday amid optimism as President Joe Biden takes office.

  • Asian stocks rose to new record highs, tracking U.S. markets as investors hoped for more economic stimulus from newly inaugurated U.S. President Joe Biden to offset damage wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Oil prices fell after data showed U.S. crude stocks unexpectedly rose last week, reigniting worries about pandemic restrictions cutting into fuel demand;
  • Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States on Wednesday, offering a message of unity and restoration to a deeply divided country reeling from a battered economy and a raging coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans;
  • European Union leaders will seek to address the coronavirus pandemic’s mounting challenges, from containing more infectious variants to the threat of border closures and the slow roll-out of vaccines across the bloc;
  • The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady and revised up its economic forecast for next fiscal year, signaling that it has delivered sufficient stimulus for now to cushion the blow from the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Larger trials are needed to assess whether Roche’s arthritis drug tocilizumab can cut death rates among the sickest COVID-19 patients, scientists said on Wednesday, after a small study found it was no better than standard care in severe cases;
  • Italy’s biggest phone group, Telecom Italia, on Wednesday started work on a plan that could keep Chief Executive Luigi Gubitosi in his role when it names a new board this year, two sources familiar with the matter said;
  • State-owned Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena has seen no potential bidders come forward yet to scrutinise confidential data after opening its books to suitors on Monday, two sources familiar with the matter said.

The summary as at 20.01.21

European stocks are expected to open higher Wednesday, ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

  • Japanese shares trimmed early gains on profit-booking as U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen’s call for big spending was perceived by investors as no surprise;
  • Oil prices rose in early trade, adding to solid gains overnight, on expectations the incoming U.S. administration will go ahead with massive stimulus spending that would boost fuel demand and draw down crude stocks;
  • Janet Yellen, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, urged lawmakers on Tuesday to “act big” on coronavirus relief spending, arguing that the economic benefits far outweigh the risks of a higher debt burden;
  • Sentiment in Europe was buoyed yesterday by the Italian government’s survival, with the Senate voting 154-140 in the government’s favour – there were 27 absences or abstentions. This means that Prime Minister Conte will be allowed to try and conolidate power.
  • Pfizer told Canada on Tuesday it will receive no coronavirus vaccines next week, officials said, an unexpected development that promises more pain for provinces already complaining about a shortage of supplies;
  • Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane said on Tuesday that he expected Britain’s economy to begin to recover “at a rate of knots” from the second quarter of this year, as vaccines against COVID-19 are rolled out;
  • London Stock Exchange said on Tuesday that it should complete its $27 billion acquisition of Refinitiv on Jan. 29, as it bulks up into a major financial data provider to compete with Bloomberg;
  • Stellantis, the carmaker forged from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot-owner PSA, will give all its 14 brands a chance at success and keep all options on the table for revitalising its struggling Chinese business, it top executive said on Tuesday;
  • BHP forecast record iron ore production for fiscal 2021, as the world’s biggest listed miner looks to cash in on high prices for the commodity following restart of its Brazilian operations;
  • ASML’s fourth quarter sales came in at €4.3 billion, which is above guidance. This was mainly due to additional DUV shipments and upgrade opportunities. They shipped nine EUV systems and recognized revenue for eight systems in the fourth quarter. Fourth quarter net bookings came in at €4.2 billion, including €1.1 billion from EUV systems (net six units);
  • Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma made his first appearance since October on Wednesday when he spoke to a group of teachers by video, easing concern about his unusual absence from public life and sending shares in the e-commerce giant surging;
  • Netflix shares jumped 12.2% after the bell yesterday as the streaming pioneer reported strong growth in subscribers and projected it will no longer need to raise debt;
  • Earnings and trading releases come from Richemont, Burberry, WH Smith, JD Wetherspoon and Pearson; on the data front, Netherlands consumer confidence data for January and final consumer prices data for December from the euro zone is due.

The summary as at 19.01.21

European stocks are expected to open higher on Tuesday, buoyed by hopes that an economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic is not far off.

  • Asian shares climbed as investors wagered China’s economic strength would help underpin growth in the region, even as pandemic lockdowns threatened to lengthen the road to recovery in the West;
  • Brent crude futures edged up as optimism that government stimulus will buoy global economic growth and oil demand trumped concerns that renewed COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns globally could cool fuel consumption;
  • Wall Street may be facing an uncomfortable four years after President-elect Joe Biden’s team confirmed on Monday it planned to nominate two consumer champions to lead top financial agencies, signaling a tougher stance on the industry than many had anticipated;
  • U.S. President-elect Joe Biden plans to quickly extend travel restrictions barring travel by most people who have recently been in much of Europe and Brazil soon after President Donald Trump lifted those requirements effective Jan. 26, a spokeswoman for Biden said;
  • More than 20 shellfish trucks parked on roads near the British parliament and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Downing Street residence on Monday to protest against post-Brexit bureaucracy that has throttled exports to the European Union;
  • Alimentation Couche-Tard would revive its $20 billion bid for France’s Carrefour if the Canadian convenience store operator saw a change in the French government’s stance on the proposed deal, its chief executive said on Monday;
  • Logitech International raised its annual forecasts and reported a nearly three-fold jump in quarterly adjusted operating income, benefiting from a pandemic-driven boost in demand for work-from-home products and gaming accessories;
  • UniCredit is narrowing down a field of candidates to replace departing Chief Executive Jean Pierre Mustier, three people familiar with the matter said, as Italy’s second biggest bank tries to find a new boss by early February.

The summary as at 18.01.21

European stocks are expected to start the new trading week flat to lower on Monday, amid a pullback in global markets.

  • Japanese stock prices slid as investors took profits from recent gainers such as semiconductor-related shares following the market’s rapid ascent to a three-decade high earlier this month;
  • Oil prices fell, extending losses that last week ended a rally driven by production cuts and strong Chinese demand, with the market’s recovery outlook being called into question as coronavirus infections rise;
  • China’s economy picked up speed in the fourth quarter, with growth beating expectations as it ended a rough coronavirus-stricken 2020 in remarkably good shape and remained poised to expand further this year even as the global pandemic raged unabated;
  • Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte faces two days of parliamentary votes that will decide if his fragile coalition can cling to power or has lost its majority, pushing Italy into deeper political turmoil;
  • U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is planning to cancel the permit for the $9 billion Keystone XL pipeline project as one of his first acts in office, and perhaps as soon as his first day, according to a source familiar with his thinking;
  • Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard and European retailer Carrefour have decided to work on partnership opportunities after takeover talks failed, the two companies said in a joint statement on Saturday;
  • Fiat Chrysler and PSA sealed their long-awaited merger on Saturday to create Stellantis, the world’s fourth-largest auto group with deep enough pockets to fund the shift to electric driving and take on bigger rivals Toyota and Volkswagen;
  • British telecoms operator BT is facing a claim for almost 600 million pounds lodged by a consumer campaign group, which says the company failed to compensate fixed-line customers, many of them elderly, for overcharging.

The summary as at 15.01.21

European markets are set to open in negative territory on Friday as a re-emergence of Covid-19 cases in China pulled back the positive sentiment generated by U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan.

  • China shares fell as consumer and liquor stocks retreated on worries over lofty valuations, while Sino-U.S. tensions also weighed on market sentiment; and Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock average inched lower, although losses were capped by tech-related shares after Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC posted its best-ever quarterly profit;
  • Oil prices were lower, pressured by renewed worries about global oil demand due to surging coronavirus;
  • President-elect Joe Biden outlined a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal on Thursday, saying bold investment was needed to jump-start the economy and accelerate the distribution of vaccines to bring the coronavirus under control;
  • America will be in uncharted territory when the U.S. Senate meets as soon as next week for the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, a case against the outgoing president that one Democrat preparing for arguments called “shockingly evident.”;
  • Swiss trading house Gunvor will resume trading in large volumes of Russian oil products this year after winning a big tender from Russia’s largest oil firm Rosneft for the first time in eight years, five industry sources told Reuters;
  • France on Thursday took a tough line against any takeover of retailer Carrefour by a foreign company, dealing a major blow to a near $20 billion bid approach by Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard;
  • General Electric accused a Siemens Energy subsidiary of using stolen trade secrets to rig bids for lucrative contracts supplying gas turbines to public utilities, and cover up improper business gains totalling more than $1 billion, according to a lawsuit filed on Thursday;
  • Business software group SAP forecast flat revenue and a decline in operating profit in 2021, as it released preliminary annual results that came at the high end of guidance slashed last autumn.

The summary as at 13.01.21

European stocks are expected to open higher Wednesday as hopes are boosted that the rollout of coronavirus vaccines worldwide will soon start to bring an end to the pandemic.

  • Asian stocks rose, tracking modest Wall Street gains, as expectations that a vaccine will eventually win the battle against the coronavirus fuelled recovery hopes, while tight supply expectations pushed oil prices to a one-year high;
  • Oil prices gained more than 1%, with U.S. crude rising for a seventh day, after industry data showed a bigger than expected drop in inventories and investors shrugged off worsening developments in the pandemic;
  • With at least five Republicans joining their push to impeach President Donald Trump over the storming of the U.S. Capitol, Democrats in the House of Representatives stood poised for a history-making vote to try to remove the president from office;
  • Europe’s drugs regulator will review the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University this month under an accelerated timeline, the watchdog said on Tuesday;
  • OPEC+ compliance with pledged oil output curbs fell to 75% in December, among the lowest levels since the supply pact started in May 2020, tanker tracker Petro-Logistics said on Tuesday;
  • The U.S. State Department this month told European companies which it suspects are helping to build Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that they face the risk of sanctions as the outgoing Trump administration prepares a final round of punitive measures against the project, two sources said on Tuesday;
  • French carmaker Renault and U.S. hydrogen specialist Plug Power have joined forces to develop hydrogen-powered light commercial vehicles (LCV), they said on Tuesday;
  • Tesco, Asda, Aldi and Waitrose will not let shoppers into their stores if they are not wearing a face covering, the British supermarket groups said on Tuesday, joining rivals Sainsbury’s and Morrisons which made the policy change a day earlier.

The summary as at 12.01.21

European stocks crept higher on Tuesday morning as investors remain focused on the latest coronavirus developments and the state of U.S. politics.

  • Stocks took a breather, easing from record highs as political turmoil in Washington and rising coronavirus cases gave pause, though a selloff in U.S. Treasuries extended as investors reckon on a big spending government;
  • Oil prices slipped as investors remained concerned about climbing coronavirus cases globally, though an anticipated drawdown in crude oil inventory in the United States for a fifth straight week stemmed losses;
  • Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives plan to impeach Donald Trump on Wednesday unless he steps down or is removed before then, after drawing up charges accusing him of inciting insurrection ahead of last week’s siege of the Capitol;
  • The U.S. government on Monday said it would begin collecting new duties on aircraft parts and other products from France and Germany from Tuesday after failing to resolve a 16-year dispute over aircraft subsidies with the European Union;
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday Britain was in “a race against time” to roll out COVID-19 vaccines as deaths hit record highs and hospitals ran out of oxygen, and his top medical adviser said the pandemic’s worst weeks were imminent;
  • The European Union is in talks with Moderna to order more of its COVID-19 vaccine despite the company seeking a higher price, and is also trying to close COVID-19 vaccine deals with Valneva and Novavax, according to two EU officials and an internal document;
  • British retailers called on the police to help enforce the wearing of masks to limit the spread of COVID-19, with two of the biggest supermarkets saying on Monday they would challenge people who were flouting the rules;
  • British retailer Marks & Spencer has purchased the Jaeger brand from its administrators as part of a strategy to bolster its clothing division with new names, it said on Monday.

The summary as at 11.01.21

European stocks opened in mixed territory on Monday, following the trend set in their Asian counterparts overnight.

  • Asian shares paused near historic highs while Treasury yields were at a 10-month top as “trillions” in new U.S. fiscal stimulus plans were set to be unveiled this week, stoking a global reflation trade;
  • Oil prices fell on renewed concerns about global fuel demand amid strict coronavirus lockdowns in Europe and new movement restrictions in China, the world’s second-largest oil user, after a jump in cases there;
  • U.S. House of Representatives Democrats plan a vote to urge Vice President Mike Pence to take steps to remove President Donald Trump from office after his supporters’ deadly storming of the Capitol, before attempting to impeach him again;
  • British minister Rishi Sunak expressed concern that higher interest rates might one day jack up the cost of servicing government debt, in comments published on Sunday;
  • Britain will open seven large-scale vaccination centres, helping to accelerate the rollout of COVID-19 shots that the government wants to deliver to all vulnerable people by mid-February;
  • Major HSBC shareholders are calling on Europe’s biggest bank to toughen its commitment to cut lending linked to fossil fuels and to turn its climate “ambitions” into targets;
  • Royal Mail will name board member Simon Thompson as its next chief executive in the coming days, Sky News reported on Sunday, citing sources;
  • Malaysia signed a deal to buy an additional 12.2 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by U.S. and German drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech, the health ministry said in a statement.

The summary as at 08.01.21

European markets are set to open higher Friday as global investors anticipate that a Democratic-controlled U.S. government will lead to greater fiscal support.

  • Asian shares rose to record highs, with Japan’s Nikkei hitting a three-decade peak as investors looked beyond rising coronavirus cases and political unrest in the United States to focus on hopes for an economic recovery later in the year;
  • Oil prices edged higher, hovering near 11-month highs hit the previous day, as Saudi Arabia’s pledge to make voluntary cuts to its output continued to buoy the mood in the market though worries over slower fuel demand capped gains;
  • President Donald Trump faced the threat on Thursday of a second impeachment, a day after his supporters breached the U.S. Capitol in a stunning assault on American democracy as Congress was certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory;
  • The United States on Thursday said it would hold off slapping tariffs on French cosmetics, handbags and other imports in retaliation for a digital services tax Washington says will harm U.S. tech firms, while it investigates similar taxes elsewhere;
  • Shares of Tesla surged to a record high in heavy trading on Thursday, with the electric car maker’s stock market value exceeding Facebook’s for the first time;
  • Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine appeared to work against a key mutation in the highly transmissible new variants of the coronavirus discovered in the UK and South Africa, according to a laboratory study conducted by the U.S. drugmaker;
  • LVMH installed the son of company founder Bernard Arnault in a new leadership team at Tiffany on Thursday after the French luxury goods group concluded its $15.8 billion acquisition of the U.S. jeweller;
  • France’s Atos confirmed on Thursday it has made a bid approach for U.S. rival DXC Technology in what would be the deal-hungry IT consulting group’s biggest ever acquisition.

The summary as at 07.01.21

European stocks are expected to open higher on Thursday following a projected win for Democrats in the U.S. Senate and the dramatic scenes seen yesterday when pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building.

  • Bonds nursed losses and Asian stock markets rose in anticipation of a big borrowing and big spending Democrat administration driving growth, following runoff elections that gave the party control of both houses of U.S. Congress;
  • Oil prices were steady after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol, with investors focusing on the likelihood of tighter supplies after Saudi Arabia unilaterally agreed to cut output;
  • Hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a stunning bid to overturn his election defeat, occupying the symbol of American democracy and forcing Congress to suspend a session to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory;
  • Democrats on Wednesday completed a sweep of the two U.S. Senate seats up for grabs in runoff elections in Georgia, giving the party control of the chamber and boosting the prospects for President-elect Joe Biden’s legislative agenda;
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson won parliament’s backing for England’s latest lockdown on Wednesday after telling lawmakers that schools would be the first to reopen when he can start a “gradual unwrapping” of the strict measures;
  • Some doctors’ practices in England will be able to offer the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, the National Health Service said, targeting the vaccination of the most vulnerable within six weeks;
  • Italy is working on a plan to take on about 14 billion euros of UniCredit’s impaired loans to make a takeover of state-owned Monte dei Paschi more attractive for the country’s second-biggest bank, sources told Reuters;
  • The European drugs regulator could soon give the go ahead for an extra sixth dose to be extracted from Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine vials, an EU official told Reuters on Wednesday, lifting the number of available shots at a time when supplies are short.

The summary as at 06.01.21

European stocks were modestly higher on Wednesday morning as the coronavirus pandemic and U.S. political developments remain a key focus for investors.

  • Global stock prices slipped and U.S. bond yields rose as investors braced for the prospect that Democrats could win both races in a U.S. Senate run-off election in Georgia, handing them control of the crucial chamber;
  • Brent oil prices rose to the highest since February after Saudi Arabia agreed to make bigger cuts in output than expected during a meeting with allied producers, while industry data showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell last week;
  • Democrats and Republicans were locked in tight U.S. Senate races in Georgia on Tuesday as final votes were counted in a showdown that will decide whether President-elect Joe Biden enjoys control of Congress or faces stiff Republican opposition to his reform plans;
  • Rev. Raphael Warnock is projected to win the Georgia U.S. Senate special election runoff, flipping a Republican seat and bringing Democrats one step closer to unified control of Congress and the White House;
  • Britain began its third COVID-19 lockdown on Tuesday with the government calling for one last major national effort to defeat the spread of a virus that has infected an estimated one in 50 citizens before mass vaccinations turn the tide;
  • Saudi Arabia pledged additional, voluntary oil output cuts of one million barrels per day in February and March as part of a deal under which most OPEC+ producers will hold production steady in the face of new coronavirus lockdowns;
  • People should get two doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine within 21-28 days, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, as many countries struggled to administer the jabs that can ward off the COVID-19 virus;
  • Italian fashion group Prada said on Tuesday that it would close 2020 with an operating profit after a strong recovery from a first half coronavirus-driven sales slump;
  • Volkswagen’s luxury British automaker Bentley posted record sales of 11,206 cars in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing the company’s factory to close during the first lockdown in England, as demand in China soared by nearly 50%.

The summary as at 05.01.21

European stocks are expected to open lower on Tuesday as the coronavirus pandemic and the imposition of further restrictions weigh on investor sentiment.

  • Most Asian shares fell amid uncertainty about Senate runoffs in Georgia, which could have a big impact on incoming U.S. President Joe Biden’s economic policies;
  • OPEC+ will resume talks after reaching a deadlock over February oil output levels as Saudi Arabia argued against pumping more due to new lockdowns while Russia led calls for higher production citing recovering demand;
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday ordered England into a new national lockdown to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases that threatens to overwhelm parts of the health system before a vaccine programme reaches a critical mass;
  • Georgia’s top election official said on Monday that President Donald Trump, a fellow Republican, had pushed him to take an “inappropriate” call in which he pressured the state to overturn his November presidential election defeat there;
  • Fiat Chrysler and PSA said on Monday that investors had given their blessing to a $52 billion merger to create the world’s fourth largest automaker, and shares in the new company, named Stellantis, would start trading in two weeks;
  • Ladbrokes owner Entain said on Monday an $11 billion takeover approach from U.S. casino operator MGM Resorts significantly undervalued its business, as companies move to capitalise on an expected boom in U.S. sports betting;
  • U.S. President Donald Trump’s outgoing administration plans to approve a controversial land swap needed for Rio Tinto and partners to build an Arizona copper mining project that Native American tribes say will destroy sites of cultural and religious value.

The summary as at 04.01.21

European stocks are expected to open in mixed territory on Monday, the first trading session of the new year.

  • Asian shares resumed their ascent as investors pinned their hope on vaccines to eventually deliver a global economic upturn, even as a possible tightening in virus rules for Tokyo pulled Japanese stocks off 30-year highs;
  • Oil prices rose on expectations that OPEC and allied producers may cap output at current levels in February at a meeting later in the day as the coronavirus pandemic keeps worries about first-half demand elevated;
  • Europe will see its biggest transfer of share trading in more than two decades when stock exchanges open for business in 2021, with Brexit shifting its centre of gravity away from London;
  • OPEC sees plenty of downside risks for oil markets in the first half of 2021, its secretary general said on Sunday, a day before meeting allies led by Russia to discuss output levels for February;
  • Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the government would consider declaring a state of emergency for the Greater Tokyo metropolitan area as coronavirus cases climb and strain the country’s medical system;
  • Britain will become the first country to roll out the low cost and easily transportable AstraZeneca and Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine, another step forward in the global response to the pandemic;
  • Shareholders in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group are expected to approve the deal, paving the way for the $52 billion transaction to be completed by the end of March.
  • Deutsche Bank is gaining in financial strength, putting Germany’s largest lender in a position to play a leading role in European banking consolidation, CEO Christian Sewing was quoted on Sunday as saying.

Download the app

  • appStore
  • google Play
iphone

Explore the world of Online Trading

Trade Shares, Bonds, ETFS and Funds in over 40 markets.