Markets Rally despite vaccine concerns

14/04/2021 South African health authorities and scientists will meet to discuss a decision by the U.S. to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine after it was linked to rare blood clots. The South African government has halted its vaccine rollout pending an investigation into the drug’s side effects.

S&P 500 and Nasdaq notch fresh all-time highs and most of Asia trades up. European contracts advanced and U.S. equity futures were steady following all-time highs for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indexes. The White House said the U.S. inoculation campaign remains on track despite a pause in Johnson & Johnson doses amid health concerns. US CPI rose to 0.6%on a monthly basis in March from 0.4% in February.

The rest of the week :

• Banks and financial firms begin reporting first-quarter earnings, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp., Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
• Economic Club of Washington hosts Fed Chair Jerome Powell for a moderated Q&A on Wednesday.
• U.S. Federal Reserve releases Beige Book on Wednesday.
• U.S. data including initial jobless claims, industrial production and retail sales come Thursday.
• China economic growth, industrial production and retail sales figures are on Friday.

Locally we had a bottom left to top right day with the All-Share gaining 781 points from its early morning lows closing up 1.03% at 67072. Sasol led the gainers up 6.65% helped by an upgrade at RMB/Morgan Stanley with a price Target of R 270. Miners boosted the gains as better-than-expected production data in the sector pointed to a recovery after it took a significant hit from the Covid-19 pandemic. Data from Stats SA released on Tuesday showed that mining output posted its first annual gain in a year in February, rising 0.8% year on year, after a revised 8.4% (from 6.2%) contraction the previous month. The median estimate of five analysts polled by Bloomberg was for a contraction of 3%.
• U.S. Calls for Pause of J&J Shot on Clots, Roiling Rollout.
• Zuma Loses Bid to Get South African State to Cover Legal Fees.
• South Africa Halts J&J Vaccine Rollout Pending Probe,Says Mkhize.
• South Africa Platinum Boom, Iron Ore Rises: EMEA Materials Wrap.
• Citi Says Exxaro, Sibanye, Impala Are Top S. Africa Mining Picks.
• Eskom to implement and then suspend Stage 2 loadshedding.
• Pilots reject final offer to end strike.
• More woes for Eskom CEO André de Ruyter
European markets closed slightly higher on Tuesday as investors monitored key economic data and the beginning of corporate earnings season. The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the session up by 0.1% with retail stocks climbing 1.6% while banks shed 0.6%. FTSE flat, CAC + 0.36%, dax + 0.13%.
U.S. stocks traded mostly higher overnight after the March inflation report turned out not as bad as some traders feared, but the impact of a halt to the rollout of Johnson & Johnson vaccine kept optimism in check. The S&P 500 added 0.33% to finish at 4141.59 and locked in a new closing high. The Nasdaq , the relative outperformer, gained just over 1% to 13996.1 as Apple and PayPal each added more than 2%. Semiconductor maker Nvidia climbed 3%, Tesla rose 8.6%. The Dow fell 68.13 points, 0.2%, to close at 33677 after dropping more than 150 points earlier in the session.
Shares in Hong Kong led gains in Asia-Pacific during today’s trade as Chinese tech stocks listed in the city jumped. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led gains among the region’s major markets as it rose 1.24% by the afternoon. Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese tech firms saw a rebound in Wednesday trade after 12 companies, including Baidu, and Meituan, signaled compliance with antitrust laws. Tencent up 2.06%. The ASX 200 climbed 0.52%, the Nikkei lost 0.44% mainly of vaccine roll-out concerns.
Oil prices rose in early trade on Wednesday, adding to overnight gains, after industry data showed U.S. oil inventories declined more than expected and OPEC raised its outlook for oil demand. Brent $ 64.52 + 1.34%, WTI $ 60.98 + 1.33%
Gold prices inched higher on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session after data showing a bigger-than-expected rise in U.S. inflation boosted bullion’s appeal as a hedge against it and weighed on the dollar and Treasury yields. Gold + 0.13% at $ 1747, Plat + 1.61% at $ 1178 and Palladium – 0.23% at $ 2686.