Singapore is locking down once again after a recent rise in cases. Although the lockdown will be less strict than prior requirements, authorities are urging people to work from home and limit gatherings to two people. The new restrictions will begin on Sunday and last for a month. The nation has already fully vaccinated 22.8% of the population, while another 10.5% have received one dose of the vaccine. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong admitted that it will be “almost impossible” to eliminate the coronavirus and “we will have to learn to live with it.”
The major Asian stock markets had a mixed day today:
- NIKKEI 225 increased 636.46 points or 2.32% to 28,084.47
- Shanghai increased 60.84 points or 1.77% to 3,490.38
- Hang Seng increased 308.90 points or 1.11% to 28,027.57
- ASX 200 increased 31.50 points or 0.45% to 7,014.20
- Kospi increased 31.21 points or 1.00% to 3,153.32
- SENSEX increased 41.75 points or 0.09% to 48,732.55
- Nifty50 decreased 18.70 points or -0.13% to 14,677.80
The major Asian currency markets had a mixed day today:
- AUDUSD increased 0.0050 or 0.65% to 0.77773
- NZDUSD increased 0.0061 or 0.85% to 0.72421
- USDJPY decreased 0.0820 or -0.07% to 109.41
- USDCNY decreased 0.0091 or -0.14% to 6.43960
- Gold increased 13.78 USD/t oz. or 0.75% to 1,840.35
- Silver increased 0.25 USD/t. oz or 0.93% to 27.313
Some economic news from last night:
China Thomson Reuters IPSOS PCSI (May) decreased from 73.73 to 71.78
M3 Money Supply (Apr) increased from 1,948.0T to 1,953.6T
Thomson Reuters IPSOS PCSI (May) decreased from 41.07 to 36.30
Export Price Index (YoY) (Apr) increased from 5.9% to 10.6%
Import Price Index (YoY) (Apr) increased from 9.0% to 15.0%
HIA New Home Sales (MoM) decreased from 90.3% to -54.4%
Business NZ PMI (Apr) decreased from 63.6 to 58.4
Some economic news from today:
Exports (USD) (Apr) increased from 30.21B to 30.63B
FX Reserves, USD increased from 588.02B to 589.47B
Imports (USD) (Apr) increased from 45.45B to 45.72B
Trade Balance (Apr) increased from -15.24B to -15.10B
Greece is open again for tourism after the coronavirus briefly decimated the industry. Nearly 20% of Greece’s workforce is composed of its tourism sector, which account for one-fifth of the nation’s GDP. Travelers from 53 approved nations must provide a negative PCR test or proof of vaccination and fill our a passenger locator form to notify the government of where they plan to visit. However, coronavirus measures are still in effect. Visitors will be expected to wear masks at all times, socially distance, and the nightly curfew has been pushed back from 12:30 AM to 5:00 AM.
Despite most developed nations experiencing a birth rate decline, Germany has seen a recent 0.8% uptick in births between December 2020 and February 2021. Germany now holds a fertility rate of 1.54 children per woman, which is in line with most of the Eurozone. Before adopting family-based policies, Germany had one of the lowest birth rates in the EU. The nation now provides 14 months of paid maternal leave and two months of paternal leave.
The major Europe stock markets had a green day:
- CAC 40 increased 96.81 points or 1.54% to 6,385.14
- FTSE 100 increased 80.28 points or 1.15% to 7,043.61
- DAX 30 increased 216.96 points or 1.43% to 15,416.64
The major Europe currency markets had a mixed day today:
- EURUSD increased 0.0065 or 0.53% to 1.21405
- GBPUSD increased 0.0056 or 0.40% to 1.41021
- USDCHF decreased 0.0035 or -0.38% to 0.90246
Some economic news from Europe today:
Spanish CPI (MoM) (Apr) increased from 1.0% to 1.2%
Spanish CPI (YoY) (Apr) increased from 1.3% to 2.2%
Spanish HICP (YoY) (Apr) increased from 1.2% to 2.0%
Spanish HICP (MoM) (Apr) decreased from 1.9% to 1.1%
A new government-led program is launching to issue credit cards to US citizens without credit scores. Major banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and US Bancorp will be participating in the initiative that is expected to begin this year. Around 53 million Americans do not have credit scores and do not qualify for traditional lines of credit.
McDonalds announced plans to raise pay for employees at over 650 US branches in an effort to attract and retain workers. US worker compensation advanced 0,9% during Q1 of 2021 marking the most significant advancement in 13 years. Other chain restaurants have announced plans to raise pay as well, such as Darden Restaurants who will begin paying employees $12 per hour plus tips by 2023.
“After a year of hard work and so much sacrifice, the rule is now simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do,” President Joe Biden warned on Twitter following the CDC’s new guidelines that do not require those who are vaccinated to wear masks. There is not currently a vaccine mandate, but it has been undecided how the vaccinated will be distinguished. Certain private businesses, such as Delta, have already declared that they will mandate vaccines for employees. As time progresses, the possibility of a vaccine passport or mandate becomes more of a reality.
US Market Closings:
- Dow advanced 360.68 points or 1.06% to 34,382.13
- S&P 500 advanced 61.35 points or 1.49% to 4,173.85
- Nasdaq advanced 304.99 points or 2.32% to 13,429.98
- Russell 2000 advanced 53.68 points or 2.47% to 2,224.63
Canada Market Closings:
- TSX Composite advanced 230.88 points or 1.21% to 19,366.69
- TSX 60 advanced 12.85 points or 1.12% to 1,160.06
Brazil Market Closing:
- Bovespa advanced 1,174.91 points or 0.97% to 121,880.82
The oil markets had a mixed day today:
- Crude Oil increased 1.48 USD/BBL or 2.32% to 65.3000
- Brent increased 1.58 USD/BBL or 2.36% to 68.6300
- Natural gas decreased 0.02 USD/MMBtu or -0.57% to 2.9560
- Gasoline increased 0.03 USD/GAL or 1.33% to 2.1232
- Heating oil increased 0.03 USD/GAL or 1.72% to 2.0354
- Top commodity gainers: Crude Oil (2.32%), Brent (2.36%), Heating Oil (1.72%) and Gasoline (1.33%)
- Top commodity losers: Lumber (-4.29%), Corn (-5.88%), Cotton (-3.26%), and Coal (-4.12%)
The above data was collected around 14:25 EST on Friday.
Japan 0.0880%(-0bp), US 2’s 0.15%(-0.006%), US 10’s 1.6437%(-2bps); US 30’s 2.3619%(-0.03%), Bunds -0.124% (-1bp), France 0.266% (-1bp), Italy 1.0702% (+5bp), Turkey 17.46% (+6bp), Greece 1.071% (+1bp), Portugal 0.601% (+0bp); Spain 0.59% (-0bp) and UK Gilts 0.861% (-4bp).
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Author: Martin Armstrong
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