Asia drifts lower after U.S slips off Record levels.

15/04/2021 Most Asian equities dipped Thursday after U.S. indexes eased from all-time peaks, even after U.S banks Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan beat analyst’s expectations. Bitcoin fell back from its overnight record of $64,870. Oil trimmed an earlier surge but remained around $63 a barrel as shrinking crude stockpiles in the U.S. supported hopes for a global demand recovery.

Some key events still to come this week :

• U.S. data including initial jobless claims, industrial production and retail sales later today.
• China economic growth, industrial production and retail sales figures are on Friday.

Locally the JSE All Share rose 1.10% to 67812, retailers, miners and listed property led the, retailers were lifted by a better-than-expected data in the sector. Stats SA said that retail sales, an indication of the health of consumers, showed a 6.9% increase in February from the previous month and a 2.3% increase from the same month in 2020. We should see a softer start on the local markets this morning with Asia softer, Tencent down 1.64% and IG Top 40 down 84 points.
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The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the session up by 0.2%, with travel and leisure stocks gaining 1.3% while utilities fell about 0.7%. Stocks in Europe received a mildly positive hangover from Asia-Pacific, where Chinese tech shares listed in Hong Kong bounced on Wednesday after 12 major companies signaled compliance with antitrust laws. FTSE + 0.64%, DAX – 0.17%, CAC + 0.40%.
Overnight the S&P 500 slipped from record levels as pressure on tech offset optimism sparked by the first round of major corporate earnings that largely exceeded expectations. The S&P 500 dipped 0.4% after hitting a fresh record early on in the session, the Dow gained just 53 points after been up over 200 points earlier in the day. The Nasdaq lost about 1% during regular trading as Tesla fell nearly 4%, Netflix and Facebook dropped more than 2% each, and Amazon, Microsoft and Apple all dipped at least 1%. The season began in earnest with bank results on Wednesday, when Goldman Sachs climbed more than 2% after blowing past analysts’ expectations with record first-quarter net profits and revenues on strong performance from the firm’s equities trading and investment banking units.
JPMorgan Chase also topped forecasts on the top and bottom lines, helped by a $5.2 billion benefit from releasing money it had previously set aside for loan losses. Bank stocks have climbed across the board this year, with the S&P 500 financials sector up nearly 20% compared to the S&P 500′s 9.8%. Today we have Pepsico, BlackRock, Citi and Bank of America.
Asian markets are mixed with Chinese Mainland and the Hang Seng lower and the Nikkei and the ASX 200 better, Australia’s unemployment rate for March came in at 5.6%, according to seasonally adjusted estimates released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday, against expectations of a 5.7% reading in a Reuters poll. The ASX 200 is up 0.61% and the Aussie Metals and mng index up 1.93%. Tencent down 1.64%.
Oil prices are a touch better holding near one-month highs after International Energy Agency (IEA) and others upgraded forecasts for oil demand as major economies recover from the pandemic. U.S. crude inventories were down by 5.9 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday, more than double analysts’ expectations for a 2.9 million-barrel decline. East Coast crude stocks hit a record low. Brent + 0.18% $ 66.72, WTI + 0.11% $ 63.22.
Gold is a touch better up 0.48% at $ 1744, platinum + 0.65% $ 1183 AND Palladium + 1.15% $ 2706.