Forex Today: U.S. & Euro Stocks Close Week at Record Highs
on April 19, 2021
Risk-on sentiment continues to push U.S. and European stock markets to all-time high prices.
- The strong rally in U.S. and Eurozone stock indices continued Friday, with the three major U.S. indices closing at new record highs, as did the DAX 30 in Europe. Stocks were boosted by stronger than anticipated U.S. inflation and retail sales data, suggesting the U.S. economy is growing strongly. One FOMC member stated very recently he forecasts GDP growth for 2021 in the U.S. at 6.5%, which would be the highest annual economic growth since 1984. It is likely we will see still higher prices in the S&P 500 and DAX indices over the coming days. Asian stock markets have mostly risen during today’s session.
- Bitcoin fell sharply Sunday, reaching a low more than 20% below last Tuesday’s record high made just below $65k per coin. However, the cryptocurrency has bounced back by more than 10% in recent hours. A rumored crackdown on the use of cryptocurrency in money laundering by the U.S. Treasury was blamed for the sudden drop.
- The Forex market is quiet and mixed. The U.S. dollar fell last week as treasury yields declined, and there may be some bearish momentum in the greenback carrying through into this week.
- New coronavirus cases are rising globally for the eighth consecutive week, and have reached the point where they are almost as high as the record high cases seen early in January. Deaths also increased last week for the fifth week running after falling for months, signifying a rebound in the pandemic in areas where vaccinations are relatively absent. The increase is especially pronounced in Latin America (accounting for 43% of deaths) and Europe (accounting for 31% of deaths). The situation is particularly bad in Brazil, with reports of a mutated virus present that is capable of reinfecting recovered coronavirus patients.
- Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 142 million with an average case fatality rate of 2.14%.
- The fastest progression in terms of immunizing a population against the coronavirus in all but the smallest states has been in Israel, which has given at least one shot to 62% of its entire population followed by the U.K. at 48%. For most of the world, a vaccine remains distant. Progress remains slow in the hard-hit European Union with only four member states (Hungary, Finland, Estonia, and Lithuania) having yet immunized more than 20%.
- The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to now be increasing most quickly in Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Ecuador, Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Guatemala, India, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mongolia, Netherlands, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Trinidad, Turkey, and Uzbekistan.