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Market Talk – March 17, 2021

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Chinese embassies in the US, Italy, India, the Philippines, and other locations say they will provide “visa facilitation” to foreign applicants who can certify that they have received a Chinese shot. To enter China, most travelers also still need to prove they have tested negative for Covid-19, obtain an antibody test, and quarantine upon arrival, according to statements Tuesday. The new policy is exploratory and “based on sufficient consideration of safety and effectiveness,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular press briefing on Tuesday. Some public health experts have raised concerns about the speed with which China is rolling out its vaccines globally, arguing that Beijing and Chinese companies haven’t been transparent enough about the results of Chinese clinical trials. Preliminary data from China’s drug regulator and global researchers helping run Chinese clinical trials show the companies’ vaccines are less effective than many Western candidates.

Indian state refiners are planning to cut oil imports from Saudi Arabia by about a quarter in May, in an escalating stand-off with Riyadh following OPEC’s decision to ignore calls from New Delhi to help the global economy with higher supply. Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp., Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd are preparing to lift about 10.8 million barrels in May, Reuters reported. India’s state refiners import an average 14.7-14.8 million barrels of Saudi oil in a month and more than 80% of India’s oil needs relies heavily on the middle east. India’s Oil Ministry repeatedly called on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC+, to ease supply curbs but Saudi refused. It has blamed Saudi’s voluntary cuts for contributing to a spike in global oil prices.

The major Asian stock markets had a mixed day today:

  • NIKKEI 225 decreased 6.76 points or -0.02% to 29,914.33
  • Shanghai decreased 1.18 points or -0.03% to 3,445.55
  • Hang Seng increased 6.43 points or 0.02% to 29,034.12
  • ASX 200 decreased 31.90 points or -0.47% to 6,795.20
  • Kospi decreased 19.67 points or -0.64% to 3,047.50
  • SENSEX decreased 562.34 points or -1.12% to 49,801.62
  • Nifty50 decreased 189.15 points or -1.27% to 14,721.30

The major Asian currency markets had a mixed day today:

  • AUDUSD decreased 0.00409 or -0.53% to 0.77048
  • NZDUSD decreased 0.00358 or -0.50% to 0.71576
  • USDJPY increased 0.16 or 0.15% to 109.21
  • USDCNY increased 0.00789 or 0.12% to 6.50989

Precious Metals:

  • Gold decreased 3.96 USD/t oz. or -0.23% to 1,726.98
  • Silver decreased 0.02 USD/t. oz or -0.09% to 25.936

Some economic news from last night:


Reuters Tankan Index (Mar) increased from 3 to 6

Adjusted Trade Balance decreased from 0.55T to -0.04T

Exports (YoY) (Feb) decreased from 6.4% to -4.5%

Imports (YoY) (Feb) increased from -9.5% to 11.8%

Trade Balance (Feb) increased from -325.4B to 217.4B

South Korea:

Unemployment Rate (Feb) decreased from 5.4% to 4.0%


MI Leading Index (MoM) increased from -0.1% to 0.0%

New Zealand:

Current Account (YoY) (Q4) remain the same at -2.55B

Current Account (QoQ) (Q4) increased from -3.52B to -2.70B

Current Account % of GDP (Q4) remain the same at -0.80%


Non-Oil Exports (MoM) (Feb) increased from 6.90% to 8.20%

Non-Oil Exports (YoY) (Feb) decreased from 12.70% to 4.20%

Trade Balance decreased from 5.610B to 4.980B


European Commission is proposing a Digital Green Certificate to facilitate safe free movement inside the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Digital Green Certificate will be proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19.

UK’s central bank, Bank of England is widely expected to keep its key rate steady at 0.1%, and to maintain the ceiling of its continuing bond-buying program at an unchanged £895 billion ($1.2 trillion) at its next policy-setting meeting. But with the U.K.’s recovery on a firmer footing than was forecast only three months ago, analysts and market operators are waiting for the Monetary Policy Committee to give its take on state of economy after the budget unveiled by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak two weeks ago. Analysts are also awaiting BoE’s response of the recent bond market turmoil that sent yields up sharply on sudden fears of future inflation. Analysts study is suggesting that BoE isn’t about to try to influence bond markets by front-loading its quantitative-easing program, as the European Central Bank last week said it would do.

The major Europe stock markets had a mixed day:

  • CAC 40 decreased 0.61 points or -0.01% to 6,054.82
  • FTSE 100 decreased 40.94 points or -0.60% to 6,762.67
  • DAX 30 increased 39.03 points or 0.27% to 14,596.61


The major Europe currency markets had a mixed day today:

  • EURUSD decreased 0.00028 or -0.02% to 1.19017
  • GBPUSD decreased 0.0023 or -0.17% to 1.38803
  • USDCHF increased 0.00297 or 0.32% to 0.92782


Some economic news from Europe today:


Car Registration (MoM) (Feb) decreased from -32.0% to -43.1%

Car Registration (YoY) (Feb) increased from -39.5% to -35.5%


Italian Car Registration (YoY) (Feb) increased from -14.0% to -12.3%

Italian Car Registration (MoM) (Feb) decreased from 12.2% to 6.7%


German Car Registration (YoY) (Feb) increased from -31.1% to -19.0%

German Car Registration (MoM) (Feb) increased from -45.5% to 14.5%


French Car Registration (YoY) (Feb) decreased from -5.8% to -20.9%

French Car Registration (MoM) (Feb) increased from -32.2% to 5.0%


Spanish Trade Balance decreased from -1.07B to -1.77B

Euro Zone:

Construction Output (MoM) (Jan) increased from -1.46% to 0.83%

Core CPI (MoM) (Feb) remain the same at 0.1%

Core CPI (YoY) (Feb) remain the same at 1.1%

CPI (YoY) (Feb) remain the same at 0.9%

CPI (MoM) (Feb) remain the same at 0.2%

CPI ex Tobacco (MoM) (Feb) remain the same at 0.2%

CPI ex Tobacco (YoY) (Feb) remain the same at 0.8%

HICP ex Energy & Food (YoY) (Feb) remain the same at 1.2%

HICP ex Energy and Food (MoM) (Feb) increased from -0.3% to 0.1%


The markets were pleased with the Federal Reserve’s optimistic GDP forecast this Wednesday, pushing the Dow to another all-time high. The index rose nearly 190 points to surpass the 33,000 for the first time.

The Federal Reserve voted to hold interest rates, as expected, but offered a more optimistic glimpse for the future. GDP is expected to rise by 6.5% this year, followed by 3.3% in 2022 and 2.2% in 2023. After 2023, the Fed expects growth to hover around 2.3% long-term. Core inflation targets rose, as the central bank is now aiming for 2.2% in 2021, followed by 2.1% in 2022. “Following a moderation in the pace of the recovery, indicators of economic activity and employment have turned up recently, although the sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic remain weak. Inflation continues to run below 2 percent,” the central bank stated this Wednesday.

Amazon outsold Walmart to become America’s leading apparel company. According to UBS, Amazon’s footwear and clothing sales in the US alone grew by $41 billion last year, which is at least 20% above Walmart’s figures. Notably, the coronavirus pandemic accounted for the uptick in online sales. Amazon is said to hold 30 to 35% of the online footwear and apparel market.

Nearly 1 in 10 Americans (22.5 million people) state that they do not have enough food to eat on a weekly basis, the US Census Bureau reported. The new $1.9 trillion relief bill will provide $1.15 billion to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for the next six months. This marks a 15% increase in spending for the SNAP program and will provide each qualified individual with an extra $25 per month. The average recipient received $125 per month last year, totaling about $1.39 per meal.

US Market Closings:

  • Dow advanced 189.42 points or 0.58% to 33,015.37
  • S&P 500 advanced 11.41 points or 0.29% to 3,974.12
  • Nasdaq advanced 53.63 points or 0.4% to 13,525.2
  • Russell 2000 advanced 16.87 points or 0.73% to 2,336.39

Canada Market Closings:

  • TSX Composite advanced 109.09 points or 0.58% to 18,983.1
  • TSX 60 advanced 7.09 points or 0.63% to 1,130.83

Brazil Market Closing:

  • Bovespa advanced 2,530.66 points or 2.22% to 116,549.44


The oil markets had a negative day today:

  • Crude Oil decreased 0.54 USD/BBL or -0.83% to 64.2600
  • Brent decreased 0.64 USD/BBL or -0.94% to 67.7500
  • Natural gas decreased 0.057 USD/MMBtu or -2.22% to 2.5050
  • Gasoline decreased 0.0495 USD/GAL or -2.36% to 2.0517
  • Heating oil decreased 0.0283 USD/GAL or -1.46% to 1.9044


  • Top commodity gainers: Lumber (2.48%), Bitumen (1.68%), Tin (2.13%) and Soda Ash (1.76%)
  • Top commodity losers: Canola (-2.11%), Gasoline (-2.36%), Natural Gas (-2.22%), and Orange Juice (-1.76%)

The above data was collected around 12:15 EST on Wednesday.


Japan 0.10%(-0bp), US 2’s 0.16%(+0.004%), US 10’s 1.69%(+6bps); US 30’s 2.44%(+0.051%), Bunds -0.32% (+5bp), France -0.07% (+1bp), Italy 0.70% (+7bp), Turkey 13.82% (+7bp), Greece 0.98% (+11bp), Portugal 0.26% (+6bp); Spain 0.38% (+6bp) and UK Gilts 0.83% (+5bp).


  • German 30-Year Bund Auction increased from 0.100% to 0.210%