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Market Talk – February 19, 2021

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China may ban the export of rare-earth refining technology to countries or companies it deems as a threat to state security, according to a person familiar with the matter. While China has no plans to restrict shipments of rare earths to the US, it is keeping the plan in its back pocket should a trade war break out again. The Asian nation is also exploring a ban on rare earths as part of its sanctions on some individual companies, including Lockheed Martin Corp., which violated China’s core interest over arms sales to Taiwan.

Ford Motor has frozen all projects it was working on with Mahindra & Mahindra while it finalizes a new India strategy, weeks after the two companies called off their planned joint venture, Reuters reported. Ford and Mahindra had proposed a joint venture to develop at least three sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) for India and emerging markets, as well as share suppliers, powertrains and technology. The $275 million deal, which would have ended most of Ford’s independent operations in India, was called off on Dec. 31.

The major Asian stock markets had a mixed day today:

  • NIKKEI 225 decreased 218.17 points or -0.72% to 30,017.92
  • Shanghai increased 20.81 points or 0.57% to 3,696.17
  • Hang Seng increased 49.46 points or 0.16% to 30,644.73
  • ASX 200 decreased 92.10 points or -1.34% to 6,793.80
  • Kospi increased 20.96 points or 0.68% to 3,107.62
  • SENSEX decreased 434.93 points or -0.85% to 50,889.76
  • Nifty50 decreased 137.20 points or -0.91% to 14,981.75

The major Asian currency markets had a mixed day today:

  • AUDUSD increased 0.00941 or 1.21% to 0.78635
  • NZDUSD increased 0.00812 or 1.12% to 0.73003
  • USDJPY decreased 0.07 or -0.07% to 105.61
  • USDCNY increased 0.00293 or 0.05% to 6.46319

Precious Metals:

  • Gold increased 4.6 USD/t oz. or 0.26% to 1,780.09
  • Silver increased 0.166 USD/t. oz or 0.62% to 27.182

Some economic news from last night:


CPI, n.s.a (MoM) (Jan) increased from -0.3% to 0.5%

National Core CPI (YoY) (Jan) increased from -1.0% to -0.6%

National CPI (YoY) (Jan) increased from -1.2% to -0.6%

Manufacturing PMI (Feb) increased from 49.8 to 50.6

Services PMI (Feb) decreased from 46.1 to 45.8

South Korea:

PPI (MoM) (Dec) increased from 0.1% to 0.9%

PPI (YoY) (Dec) increased from -0.3% to 0.8%


Retail Sales (MoM) (Jan) increased from -4.1% to 0.6%

Manufacturing PMI decreased from 57.2 to 56.6

Services PMI decreased from 55.6 to 54.1

New Zealand:

PPI Input (QoQ) (Q4) decreased from 0.6% to 0.0%

PPI Output (QoQ) (Q4) increased from -0.3% to 0.4%


Balance of Payments (EUR) (Q4) decreased from 2.1B to -0.2B

Current Account % of GDP (Q4) decreased from 0.40% to 0.30%

Some economic news from today:


FX Reserves, USD decreased from 583.95B to 583.70B


Britain’s economy has stabilized after a new COVID-19 lockdown last month hit retailers, and business and consumers are hopeful the vaccination campaign will spur a recovery, data showed on Friday. The IHS Markit/CIPS flash composite Purchasing Managers’ Index, a survey of businesses, suggested the economy was barely shrinking in the first half of February as companies adjusted to the latest restrictions. The central bank expects a strong subsequent recovery because of the COVID-19 vaccination program – though policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe said in a speech on Friday that the BoE could need to cut interest rates below zero later this year if unemployment stayed high.

The major Europe stock markets had a green day:

  • CAC 40 increased 45.22 points or 0.79% to 5,773.55
  • FTSE 100 increased 6.87 points or 0.10% to 6,624.02
  • DAX 30 increased 106.30 points or 0.77% to 13,993.23

The major Europe currency markets had a green day today:

  • EURUSD increased 0.00216 or 0.18% to 1.21153
  • GBPUSD increased 0.00423 or 0.30% to 1.40124
  • USDCHF increased 0.00029 or 0.03% to 0.89614

Some economic news from Europe today:


Composite PMI increased from 41.2 to 49.8

Manufacturing PMI increased from 54.1 to 54.9

Services PMI increased from 39.5 to 49.7

CBI Industrial Trends Orders (Feb) increased from -38 to -24

Core Retail Sales (YoY) (Jan) decreased from 6.7% to -3.8%

Core Retail Sales (MoM) (Jan) decreased from 0.4% to -8.8%

Public Sector Net Borrowing (Jan) decreased from 26.11B to 8.02B

Public Sector Net Cash Requirement (Jan) decreased from 40.560B to -19.526B

Retail Sales (YoY) (Jan) decreased from 3.1% to -5.9%

Retail Sales (MoM) (Jan) decreased from 0.4% to -8.2%



German PPI (YoY) (Jan) increased from 0.2% to 0.9%

German PPI (MoM) (Jan) increased from 0.8% to 1.4%

German Composite PMI (Feb) increased from 50.8 to 51.3

German Manufacturing PMI (Feb) increased from 57.1 to 60.6

German Services PMI (Feb) decreased from 46.7 to 45.9


French CPI (MoM) (Jan) decreased from 0.2% to 0.1%

French CPI (YoY) increased from 0.0% to 0.6%

French HICP (YoY) (Jan) increased from 0.0% to 0.8%

French HICP (MoM) (Jan) increased from 0.2% to 0.3%

French Manufacturing PMI (Feb) increased from 51.6 to 55.0

French Markit Composite PMI (Feb) decreased from 47.7 to 45.2

French Services PMI (Feb) decrease from 47.3 to 43.6


Italian CPI (MoM) (Jan) increased from 0.2% to 0.7%

Italian CPI (YoY) (Jan) increased from -0.2% to 0.4%

Italian CPI Ex Tobacco (MoM) (Jan) increased from -0.2% to 0.2%

Italian HICP (MoM) (Jan) decreased from 0.2% to -0.9%

Italian HICP (YoY) (Jan) increased from -0.3% to 0.7%


Spanish Trade Balance decreased from -0.59B to -1.07B

Euro Zone:

Current Account (Dec) increased from 24.6B to 36.7B

Current Account n.s.a. (Dec) increased from 26.8B to 51.9B

Manufacturing PMI (Feb) increased from 54.8 to 57.7

Markit Composite PMI (Feb) increased from 47.8 to 48.1

Services PMI (Feb) decreased from 45.4 to 44.7


Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is calling for a “big” additional stimulus package. “I think the price of doing too little is much higher than the price of doing something big. We think that the benefits will far outweigh the costs in the longer run,” Yellen told reporters on Thursday night. Yellen has previously stated that she is not concerned with inflation, citing that there would be more long-term damage if additional aid was not provided. “Inflation has been very low for over a decade, and you know it’s a risk, but it’s a risk that the Federal Reserve and others have tools to address. The greater risk is of scarring the people, having this pandemic take a permanent lifelong toll on their lives and livelihoods.”

As for the deficit burden, Janet Yellen said that additional taxes would likely be required to pay for the large stimulus package. The Congressional Budget Office is already projecting a $2.3 trillion deficit without adding the additional stimulus package. Yellen stated that taxes will likely “phase in slowly over time.”

Beginning Monday, anyone traveling to Canada will be required to take a coronavirus test and isolate at a government-approved facility for up to 72 hours until their results are received. The government will not pay for travelers to stay at their specific list of government-approved facilities, which will cost C$2,000 on average. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cited that the extra precautions are to prevent new variants of the virus from entering the country. Vaccinated Canadians will not be exempt from the travel quarantine measure.

US Market Closings:

  • Dow advanced 1.44 points or 0% to 31,494.78
  • S&P 500 declined 7.24 points or -0.19% to 3,906.73
  • Nasdaq advanced 9.11 points or 0.07% to 13,874.46
  • Russell 2000 advanced 48.3 points or 2.18% to 2,266.69

Canada Market Closings:

  • TSX Composite advanced 110.2 points or 0.6% to 18,384.27
  • TSX 60 advanced 6.15 points or 0.57% to 1,092.87

Brazil Market Closing:

  • Bovespa declined 768.44 points or -0.64% to 118,430.53


The oil markets had a negative day today:

  • Crude Oil decreased 1.55 USD/BBL or -2.56% to 58.9700
  • Brent decreased 1.25 USD/BBL or -1.96% to 62.6800
  • Natural gas decreased 0.018 USD/MMBtu or -0.58% to 3.0640
  • Gasoline decreased 0.0058 USD/GAL or -0.32% to 1.7885
  • Heating oil decreased 0.0242 USD/GAL or -1.32% to 1.8122


  • Top commodity gainers: Rubber (3.48%), Canola (2.42%), Copper (3.92%) and Coal (2.31%)
  • Top commodity losers: Bitumen (-2.99%), Crude Oil (-2.56%), Brent (-1.96%), and Wheat (-1.43%)

The above data was collected around 15:05 EST on Friday.


Japan 0.11%(+2bp), US 2’s 0.11%(-0.0002%), US 10’s 1.34%(+6bps); US 30’s 2.00%(+0.06%), Bunds -0.32% (+6bp), France -0.08% (+0bp), Italy 0.62% (-3bp), Turkey 12.67% (+1bp), Greece 0.89% (+1bp), Portugal 0.26% (+1bp); Spain 0.36% (+7bp) and UK Gilts 0.70% (+7bp).