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Market Talk – March 31, 2021

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The United States strongly condemns moves by China to further reduce political participation and representation in Hong Kong and is deeply concerned by a second delay in the territory’s Legislative Council elections, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday. The measures are part of Beijing’s efforts to consolidate its increasingly authoritarian grip on Hong Kong following the imposition of a national security law in June, which critics see as a tool to crush dissent. Legislative Council elections, already postponed once to September with the government citing coronavirus, would be held in December, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said.

China’s manufacturing activity expanded at the quickest pace in three months in March as factories cranked up production after a brief lull during the Lunar New Year holidays, with improving global demand adding further momentum to a solid economic recovery. The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) rose to 51.9 from 50.6 in February, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Wednesday, remaining above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction for the 13th straight month. The official PMI, which largely focuses on big and state-owned firms, showed both the sub-indexes for production and new orders stood at the highest level since December.

The major Asian stock markets had a mixed day today:


  • NIKKEI 225 decreased 253.90 points or -0.86% to 29,178.80
  • Shanghai decreased 14.77 points or -0.43% to 3,441.91
  • Hang Seng decreased 199.15 points or -0.70% to 28,378.35
  • ASX 200 increased 52.30 points or 0.78% to 6,790.70
  • Kospi decreased 8.58 points or -0.28% to 3,061.42
  • SENSEX decreased 627.43 points or -1.25% to 49,509.15
  • Nifty50 decreased 154.40 points or -1.04% to 14,690.70


The major Asian currency markets had a mixed day today:


  • AUDUSD increased 0.00102 or 0.13% to 0.76159
  • NZDUSD increased 0.00162 or 0.23% to 0.70041
  • USDJPY increased 0.16 or 0.14% to 110.49
  • USDCNY decreased 0.01056 or -0.16% to 6.56143


Precious Metals:

  • Gold increased 18.39 USD/t oz. or 1.09% to 1,703.19
  • Silver increased 0.27 USD/t. oz or 1.13% to 24.287

Some economic news from last night:



  • Chinese Composite PMI (Mar) increased from 51.6 to 55.3
  • Manufacturing PMI (Mar) increased from 50.6 to 51.9
  • Non-Manufacturing PMI (Mar) increased from 51.4 to 56.3




  • Industrial Production (MoM) (Feb) decreased from 4.3% to -2.1%
  • Industrial Production forecast 1m ahead (MoM) (Mar) decreased from 2.1% to -1.9%
  • Industrial Production forecast 2m ahead (MoM) (Apr) increased from -6.1% to 9.3%

South Korea:

  • Manufacturing BSI Index (Apr) increased from 83 to 91
  • Industrial Production (MoM) (Feb) increased from -1.2% to 4.3%
  • Industrial Production (YoY) (Feb) decreased from 7.8% to 0.9%
  • Retail Sales (MoM) decreased from 1.6% to -0.8%
  • Service Sector Output (MoM) (Feb) increased from -0.1% to 1.1%


  • Building Approvals (MoM) (Feb) increased from -19.4% to 21.6%
  • Housing Credit (Feb) remain the same at 0.4%
  • Private House Approvals (Feb) increased from -12.2% to 15.1%
  • Private Sector Credit (MoM) (Feb) decreased from 0.3% to 0.2%

New Zealand:

  • ANZ Business Confidence (Mar) decreased from 7.0 to -4.1
  • NBNZ Own Activity (Mar) decreased from 21.3% to 16.6%


  • Bank Lending (Feb) increased from 683.6B to 686.7B


Some economic news from today:


  • Housing Starts (YoY) (Feb) decreased from -3.1% to -3.7%
  • Construction Orders (YoY) (Feb) decreased from 14.1% to 2.5%



  • Foreign Debt (USD) (Q4) increased from 556.2B to 563.5B
  • Federal Fiscal Deficit (Feb) increased from 12,340.04B to 14,055.47B
  • Balance of Payments (USD) (Q4) increased from 31.600B to 32.500B
  • Current Account % of GDP (QoQ) (Q4) decreased from 2.40% to -0.20%
  • Current Account (USD) (Q4) decreased from 15.50B to -1.70B
  • Trade Balance (USD) (Q4) decreased from -14.800B to -34.500B
  • Foreign Debt (USD) increased from 556.7B to 563.5B
  • Infrastructure Output (YoY) (Feb) decreased from 0.9% to -4.6%

Hong Kong:

  • M3 Money Supply (Feb) decreased from 23.2% to 10.3%


Britain’s recovery during the second half of last year was stronger than first estimated, according to official figures that also showed households put away more money in savings accounts than previous data suggested. In a series of revisions to its data covering the Covid 19 pandemic, the Office for National Statistics said the economy expanded by 16.9% and 1.3% in the third and fourth quarters of 2020 respectively. This marked steep increases on initial estimates of 16.1% and 1%. Analysts said the more robust recovery than first pencilled in by the ONS gave hope for a broader expansion during 2021 as the economy gained momentum.

Germany has suspended use of the coronavirus vaccine created by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford for anyone under the age of 60 due to renewed concerns over reports of blood clots. The move comes after the country’s medicines regulator found 31 cases of a rare type of blood clot in a small number of people immunized with the coronavirus vaccine produced by the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker. The suspension is likely to deal yet another blow to its vaccine’s reputation.

The major Europe stock markets had a negative day:


  • CAC 40 decreased 20.81 points or -0.34% to 6,067.23
  • FTSE 100 decreased 58.49 points or -0.86% to 6,713.63
  • DAX 30 decreased 0.27 points or 0.00% to 15,008.34


The major Europe currency markets had a green day today:

  • EURUSD increased 0.00204 or 0.17% to 1.17435
  • GBPUSD increased 0.0035 or 0.25% to 1.37828
  • USDCHF increased 0.00009 or 0.01% to 0.94193

Some economic news from Europe today:



  • Business Investment (QoQ) (Q4) increased from 1.3% to 5.9%
  • Business Investment (YoY) (Q4) increased from -10.3% to -7.4%
  • Current Account (Q4) decreased from -14.3B to -26.3B
  • GDP (YoY) (Q4) increased from -7.8% to -7.3%
  • GDP (QoQ) (Q4) decreased from 16.0% to 1.3%
  • Nationwide HPI (YoY) (Mar) decreased from 6.9% to 5.7%
  • Nationwide HPI (MoM) (Mar) decreased from 0.7% to-0.2%



  • French Consumer Spending (MoM) (Feb) increased from -4.9% to 0.0%
  • French CPI (YoY) increased from 0.6% to 1.1%
  • French CPI (MoM) increased from 0.0% to 0.6%
  • French HICP (YoY) increased from 0.8% to 1.4%
  • French HICP (MoM) increased from 0.0% to 0.7%
  • French PPI (MoM) (Feb) decreased from 1.2% to 0.8%


  • German Unemployment Change (Feb) increased from -36K to -8K
  • German Unemployment Rate (Mar) remain the same at 6.0%
  • German Unemployment (Mar) decreased from 2.752M to 2.745M
  • German Unemployment n.s.a. (Mar) decreased from 2.904M to 2.827M


  • ZEW Expectations (Mar) increased from 55.5 to 66.7


  • Spanish Current account (Jan) decreased from 0.53B to -1.01B


  • Central Bank Currency Purchase (Apr) decreased from -1,700.0M to -1,800.0M


  • Italian CPI (YoY) (Mar) increased from 0.6% to 0.8%
  • Italian CPI (MoM) (Mar) increased from 0.1% to 0.3%
  • Italian HICP (YoY) (Mar) decreased from 1.0% to 0.6%
  • Italian HICP (MoM) (Mar) increased from -0.2% to 1.8%

Euro Zone:

  • Core CPI (MoM) increased from 0.1% to 0.3%
  • Core CPI (YoY) decreased from 1.1% to 0.9%
  • CPI (YoY) (Mar) increased from 0.9% to 1.3%
  • CPI (MoM) increased from 0.2% to 0.9%
  • CPI, n.s.a (Mar) increased from 105.54 to 106.54
  • HICP ex Energy & Food (YoY) (Mar) decreased from 1.2% to 1.0%
  • HICP ex Energy and Food (MoM) increased from 0.1% to 0.8%


Mortgage rates in the US are on the slowly rising as many hope this will quell demand. The 30-year-fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.33% last week compared to 3.36% on homes with a 20% down payment. However, this is the first time in seven consecutive weeks that rates were reportedly higher. Applications for mortgages declined 2.2%, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported. Refinances fell 3% on a weekly basis, and notably sank 32% YoY. The drastic demand combined with low inventory has pushed many potential buyers out of the marketplace. “Record-low inventory is pushing home-price growth at double the rate from a year ago, and even above the 10% growth rates seen in 2005. The housing market is in desperate need of more inventory to cool price growth and preserve affordability,” Joel Kan, an analyst for the Mortgage Bankers Association, noted.

Monthly unemployment data by state has shown that the US states with the least restrictive coronavirus prevention measures have significantly lower rates of unemployment. Although the national unemployment rate is 6.2%, states free from strict lockdown measures have nearly reached pre-pandemic rates. Unemployment in South Dakota was just 2.9% in February, with Utah (3%), and Nebraska (3.1%) also seeing drastic improvements. In contrast, states with harsh lockdown measures such as Hawaii (9.2%), New York (8.9%), and Connecticut (8.5%) are suffering a jobless crisis. “There is a clear trend here. Free states have largely avoided the labor market carnage associated with the COVID pandemic, while locked states have caused higher levels of unemployment — without guaranteeing better health outcomes from the pandemic,” the Foundation for Economic Education released stated.

New York state is expected to bring in millions in tax revenue annually after Governor Cuomo signed a bill legalizing recreational marijuana use. New York City will place a 15% tax on the product, with 9% going to the state and 4% going to local government. Some are estimating the measure could create 60,000 new jobs, although recreational sales may not begin until 2023. In 2020 alone, 94% of marijuana-related arrests in New York targeted minority populations. The measure will expunge thousands of criminal records of non-violent offenders who may have experienced trouble finding employment or housing due to marijuana-related charges.

US Market Closings:

  • Dow declined 85.41 points or -0.26% to 32,981.55
  • S&P 500 advanced 14.34 points or 0.36% to 3,972.89
  • Nasdaq advanced 201.48 points or 1.54% to 13,246.87
  • Russell 2000 advanced 24.73 points or 1.13% to 2,220.52

Canada Market Closings:

  • TSX Composite declined 4.89 points or -0.03% to 18,700.67
  • TSX 60 decline 1.71 points or -0.15% to 1,117.15

Brazil Market Closing:

  • Bovespa declined 215.95 points or -0.18% to 116,633.72


The oil markets had a mixed day today:

  • Crude Oil increased 0.49 USD/BBL or 0.81% to 61.0300
  • Brent decreased 0.24 USD/BBL or -0.37% to 63.9000
  • Natural gas decreased 0.007 USD/MMBtu or -0.27% to 2.6160
  • Gasoline increased 0.0085 USD/GAL or 0.43% to 1.9975
  • Heating oil increased 0.0065 USD/GAL or 0.36% to 1.7957
  • Top commodity gainers: Silver (1.13%), Platinum (2.59%), Coal (1.11%) and Palm Oil (1.23%)
  • Top commodity losers: Wheat (-1.04 %), Rubber (-2.67%), Bitumen (-1.90%), and Cotton (-1.87%)

The above data was collected around 11:20 EST on Wednesday.


Japan 0.10%(+1bp), US 2’s 0.15%(+0.006%), US 10’s 1.72%(-1bps); US 30’s 2.38%(-0.020%), Bunds -0.28% (+0bp), France -0.04% (-1bp), Italy 0.66% (-2bp), Turkey 18.54% (+23bp), Greece 0.87% (-4bp), Portugal 0.23% (-1bp); Spain 0.34% (-1bp) and UK Gilts 0.84% (+1bp).