Weekly Market Update: 15th of February 2021

ASX News Feb 15, 2021 / Reading Time: 2 mins
By Julius Zondag Reading Time: 2 mins

Domestic Markets | ASX200 down 34pts (-0.5%)

Global markets were boosted by US stimulus sentiment in an otherwise quiet week.

CBA -$1.77 (-2.0%)
FMG +$0.60 (2.58%)

The ASX200 fell 34 points over the course of the week to finish at 6,807 points as reporting season swung into full gear, while retail and travel stocks took a hit as Victoria announced that it would go into a short lockdown as the UK COVID variant caused a number of local transmissions.

Global Markets | Dow Jones up 311pts (+1.0%)

The American majors once again recorded record highs last week as continued poor job claims boosted stimulus expectations, with Biden’s $1.9tn bill still stuck in the senate.

S&P 500 +48pts (1.2%)
Nasdaq +208pts (1.5%)

The White House administration purchased a further 200m vaccine doses from Moderna and Pfizer to bring total supply to 600m doses – enough for most of the population.

Europe | Euro Stoxx 50 up 45pts (+1.2%)
The Euro Stoxx 50 increased 1.2% to 3,696 points with the COVID vaccine rollout boosting sentiment and investors also reacting well to slowly lowering COVID cases. This was despite darkening short-term economic forecasts from the European Commission.

The Chinese CSI 300 had a shortened trading week, closing after Wednesday due to Chinese New Year. China was boosted by an improving COVID outlook, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 was pushed up by US stimulus sentiment and strong Asian earnings.

Commodities | Gold up 12.32USD/oz (0.7%)

Precious metals experienced a quiet week with minimal news seeing gold prices rise 0.7% over the course of the week to $1,824.55 and silver prices rise 2.0% to $27.44 an ounce.

Silver 0.52USD/oz (2.0%)
Copper +0.16/Lbs (4.4%)
Iron Ore 4.00USD/T (2.6%)

Precious Metals | Gold, Silver
With little news to support precious metals, the rise was attributed to increasing US stimulus hopes which would likely cause precious metals status as an inflation hedge to come into play. Rises were however tempered by the US dollar which firmed slightly over the course of the week.

Oil | WTI Crude, Brent
Oil investors responded positively to favourable news but mostly ignored negative information to see both of the oil majors’ book fresh 1-year highs. Positive stimulus sentiment pushed oil markets higher, while OPEC promised tighter oil supply. While investors responded well to oil supply tightening, they didn’t react to this being announced due to OPEC’s expectations that demand would be lower than first forecast.

Iron Ore
Iron ore rose over the course of the week to $159.50 a tonne, though most of that movement came as a hangover from Vale’s weak output result from the prior week. While supply was weaker, demand also remains week as steel’s price weakens and Chinese iron stockpiles remain high.

Copper prices surged to their highest point since April 2021 to $3.80 per pound over the course of the week. Copper was buoyed by a slowing down of COVID cases as the global vaccine rollout continued and top demander China reporting no new local infections in the same week that the Sinovac vaccine was approved for general use. Besides data out of Chile showing that export revenue had jumped 9.3%, copper was further boosted by positive stimulus sentiment, which would cause increased copper demand.