on February 03, 2021
Global stock markets continue to rise firmly.
- Stock markets continued to rise yesterday, with the Japanese Nikkei 225 Index looking especially strong after rising by 1% during today’s Asian session.
- In the Forex market, the Asian session has seen the New Zealand dollar strengthen markedly on a shock fall in unemployment (to only 4.9% compared to the anticipated 5.6%), leading to expectations of a globally rare rate hike by the RBNZ over the medium term. The Japanese yen is the weakest major currency.
The yen is a popular asset during turbulent times.
- The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia stated that the economic shock from the coronavirus pandemic’s arrival last year is less in Australia than had been feared.
- Today will see a release of the U.S. ADP non-farm employment payrolls forecast. The real data will be released on Friday.
- Concerns over new coronavirus mutations remain strong, as several more variants seem to have developed which are more infectious and perhaps lethal too, and it is not known whether some of them may have resistance to the first generation of vaccines which are currently being rolled out. There is particular concern over the South African variant, although Moderna announced last week that its vaccine should be effective against it. These fears are triggering a move towards further travel and quarantine restrictions in several nations.
- Jeff Bezos has announced that he will step down as CEO of Amazon this summer.
- Global coronavirus deaths have increased dramatically since early October to reach a level 107% higher than the peak last April.
- Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 104.4 million with an average case fatality rate of 2.17%. The number of confirmed new cases globally has been falling steadily over the past two weeks.
- The fastest progression in terms of immunizing a population against the coronavirus has been in Israel, which has already administered a first shot of the Pfizer vaccine to 35% of its entire population (including more than 81% of the over-60s) and a second dose to 20%. The U.A.E. ranks second, having now given 35 vaccines per 100 of its population. For most of the world, a vaccine remains distant: only 8 countries have vaccinated more than 5% of their population so far. Progress remains slow in the hard-hit European Union.
- Last week saw daily coronavirus deaths hit a new global peak.
- The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to now be increasing most quickly in Albania, Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Cuba, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.