S&P500 Gains on Economic Rebound in U.S., China; Asian Markets Track Wall Street

19/04/2021 Asian markets firm in the green on Monday as the global economic recovery and corporate earnings prospects bolstered sentiment despite rising Covid-19 infections. China outperformed, while Hong Kong and Japan turned are moderately steady – Tencent up 0.71%. S&P 500 futures were steady after the gauge recorded a fourth week of gains. Bitcoin tumbled the most since February, plunging almost 15% on Sunday, after reaching a record last week as crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc. went public.

Oil was down Monday morning as rising numbers of COVID-19 cases globally stoked fuel demand recovery fears. Brent oil futures slipped 0.37% to $66.52, while U.S WTI is down 0.32% to $62.93. Gold remain flat 0.02% to $1776.84 as retreating U.S. Treasury yields boosted demand for the safe-haven yellow metal.

Locally, the rand ended the week 2.21% stronger to the dollar as global concerns over inflation eased, major central banks indicating interest rates would likely remain at low levels for some time to come. The Chinese GDP data provided a boost for miners on Friday. The JSE All-Share gained 1.30% for the day, 2.24% for the week; Top-40 added 1.32%, resources 2.21%. Anglo American, which recently announced the unbundling of its SA coal assets, gained whooping 3.11% to R632.76, with Goldfields leading the miners adding 4.33% to its gains to close at R143.04.

Here are some key events to watch this week:
• Reserve Bank of Australia releases minutes of its policy meeting on Tuesday.
• EIA crude oil inventory report on Wednesday.
• European Central Bank rate decision and President Christine Lagarde briefing on Thursday.
• U.S. releases manufacturing and services purchasing managers indexes Friday.
• South African Regulator Recommends Lifting J&J Vaccine Ban
• South Africa’s Rand Becomes Haven as Risks Threaten EM
• South Africa Business Groups to Help Vaccinate 160,000 a Day
• S. Africa Central Bank Governor Sees Room to Keep Rates Low
• Eskom Wins First Court Battle Over Econ Oil Contract, BD Says
• Mediclinic’s Improving Liquidity to Be Well-Received: Jefferies
• Super Group Raised to Buy at Investec; PT 34 rand
• Fin24: Eskom lodges leave to appeal as software giant Oracle pulls IT support
• News24: Botswana bans SA poultry imports amid avian flu outbreak
• TechCentral.co.z: FNB terminates Ayo Technology’s banking facilities

European stock markets finished higher on Friday, with the FTSE100e 7,000 for the first time since February 2020 as investors mulled encouraging Chinese growth figures. The FTSE 100 ended the session up 0.52%, the benchmark pan-European Stoxx 600 rose 0.90%, alongside a 1.34% advance for Germany’s Dax. Miners were in the green after the Chinese data, with Antofagasta rising 0.51% and Anglo American adding 1.59%. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, was reportedly pushing for greater powers from lawmakers that would allow her to impose coronavirus lockdowns and curfews where needed in her country.

The Dow opened 122.08 points higher on Friday, with Morgan Stanley topping first-quarter earnings estimates on Friday and Bank of New York Mellon beating expectations despite declining revenues as the company released money set aside for bad debts. All Wall Street gauges closed in positive territory on Friday: Dow up 164.64 points, or 0.48, the S&P500 gaining 0.36% and the Nasdaq gaining 0.10%. US Treasury yields tumbled to a one-month low on Thursday and were down again at around 1.56% early on Friday. Netflix and Snap will be among the major names reporting results this week.

The MSCI ex. Japan jumped 1.2% last week and is up 5% so far this year, on track for its third straight yearly gain. The Shanghai Composite currently 2.08% stronger, with Hang Seng following the trend 0.80% firmer; while markets in Japan and Australia are moderately in the gains 0.18% and 0.19% respectively. This week is off to a quiet start with no major data releases slated on Monday. The risk-sensitive Aussie dollar slipped for a second straight day to be down 0.2% at $0.7715.