Coronavirus deaths in Latin America and the Caribbean are now approximately 40% of the global daily total, exceeding those in the U.S.A. which suggests that the epicenter of the pandemic is now in South America. Brazil alone saw over 600 deaths and 15,000 new confirmed cases yesterday.
Total reported deaths globally peaked on April 18th and daily new confirmed cases peaked just a few days ago on 22nd May. Total confirmed new cases stand at more than 5.4 million with an average case fatality rate of 6.38%. Both the total number of new cases and deaths continues to slowly fall daily in the U.S.A. and almost everywhere in Europe outside Russia. Goldman Sachs forecast a 34% drop in U.S. Q2 annualized GDP and other analysts seeing a 30% unemployment rate in the near future. If correct, these will be the worst such numbers seen since the 1930s, but it should be noted many analysts continue to see a much better outlook for U.S. unemployment. The WTO has forecasted that global trade is set to fall by one third. The U.S. now sees an unemployment rate of 15% and a drop in 1st Q GDP of 4.8%.
Stock markets mostly closed up Friday. The U.S. market indices remain firm and bullish, with the S&P 500 Index ending the week above its 61.8% Fibonacci peak-to-trough retracement, only about 30 points from its 200-day moving average. Many market analysts think the bottom of this bear market has already been reached, but other analysts see further strong falls likely in stocks over the coming weeks and months. There is a strong divergence of opinion, but we are seeing the bullish case strengthen.
The Forex market has opened very quietly and is likely to remain quiet all day due to holidays in London and New York.
The price of crude oil continues to rise to trade well above $30 per barrel.
The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to be increasing most quickly in Brazil, India, Mexico, Peru, and Iran. Russia’s “curve” seems to be flattening. Brazil now has the second highest number of confirmed cases, followed by Russia and then the U.K.