Gold Soar On Dollar, Oil Climbs. Japan Drops On Possible Emergency

04/01/2021 Global stocks headed toward a record Monday as the rollout of vaccines and stimulus support eased concerns about the escalating pandemic. Stock markets in Asia jumped, but underperformed in Japan after the Prime Minister said he’s considering declaring a state of emergency for the Tokyo area to stem a surge in virus infections. Gold and oil climbed. The JSE finished 0.38% lower on Thursday at 59,408 points with financial markets closing at 12pm on New Year’s Eve, while the Top-40 ended the day 0.47% down. The All-Share gained 4.07% for the year 2020, while the Top-40 rose 7.01% for the same period. The British pound gained 2.78% against the greenback in 2020, the Euro bagged 9.68% for the year, while the local currency lost 4.17%. The local market is likely to start the first trading day of 2021 on a positive note, taking cue from Asian counterparts. Top-40 futures, IG markets, are 150 points firmly up.

South Africa is trying to expedite access to Covid-19 vaccines in partnership with pharmaceutical companies, Health Minister Zweli Mkhizesaid on Sunday. Government is seeking more vaccines to inoculate the additional 67% of the country’s population to reach herd immunity after the initial Covax program vaccine access.

NEWS:
• Gold Heads for Best Year in a Decade With Dollar on the Ropes
• Next Africa: Crossroads, Cocoa and Law and Order
• Eskom Suspends Power Cuts as Demand Falls Ahead of Weekend
• AngloGold Completes Sale of Entire Interest in Sadiola Mine
• South Africa November M3 Money Supply Rises 8.18% on the Year
• South Africa Reports Record Daily Covid Infections of 17,710
EQUITY PREVIEW:
• AngloGold Completes Sale of Entire Interest in Sadiola Mine
MEDIA SUMMARIES:
• Business Day.za: SA should get firm vaccine delivery date from Covax in January
• Business Day.za: Government beefs up border post personnel
ECONOMIC DATA:
• 8am: Dec. Naamsa Vehicle Sales YoY, prior -12.0%

EU/UK/US
European markets finished the year 2020-forgettable 2020 in the red – a year to forget. The FTSE 100 ended the year down 1.5%, leaving the index 14.3% lower for the year. The German and Italian bourses closed, while others were only open for half a day. The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.34%. Germany’s DAX ended 2020 with a 3.5% gain on Wednesday and just below all-time highs.

The S&P 500 closed out 2020 at a record high, capping one of the most volatile years for the U.S. stock market in decades. The benchmark gauge gained 0.6% on the last trading day of the year. Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.6%, Nasdaq Composite up 0.1%.

What to watch this week:
• OPEC+ alliance energy ministers hold their monthly virtual gathering Monday to decide whether to add as much as 500,000 barrels a day to production.
• FOMC minutes out Wednesday.
• U.S. unemployment report for December is due Friday.

ASIA
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan swung 1.2% higher. Asian shares resumed their ascent on Monday as investors pinned their hope on vaccines – to eventually deliver a global economic upturn. Hang Seng up 0.40%, with Tencent gaining 2.60%, Shanghai 0.90% firmer, Australian market advancing almost 1.50%, while the Nikkei bugging the trend …slipping 0.81% amid declaration of state of emergency.

COMMODITIES
Brent oil futures jumped 1.41% to $52.354, a weaker dollar also continued to give the black liquid a boost. OPEC+ will continue a series of meetings to discuss easing current production cuts. Gold pushed above $1,900 an ounce to hit the highest level in almost two months, aided by a weaker dollar, after posting the biggest annual advance in a decade. Silver also surged on the first full trading day of the new year.