Global equities plunged overnight, amidst fears over the vaccine roll-out, effectiveness and the surge in virus spread. India is experiencing a surge and much of Europe remains under severe restrictions, as the virus mutates and worries over the vaccine causing blood clots, rise. The real concern surrounds the effectiveness of the vaccine, which does not prevent infection or the spread of the virus, thus threatening widespread acceptance of the vaccine. The impact on markets was understandable, with equities being hit hard, despite the massive fiscal and monetary stimulus.
The UK saw a surprise fall in Unemployment numbers, to 4.9%, beating expectations after the severe lockdown during the period measured? It is more to do with the technical definition of ‘employed’ rather than aa surge in jobs filled. Despite the strong employment numbers, the GBP drifted to 1.3930, while the EUR traded 1.2030. The RBA minutes revealed a stronger than expected economic performance, but still held lingering concerns over longer term growth and employment. The RBA, in lock-step with the Fed, promised QE Infinity. The AUD fell back to 0.7720, while the NZD held steady around 0.7170, supported by Global Dairy Prices which remained steady.
Markets will continue to focus on growth and inflation, while ‘virus and the vaccine’ continue to dominate global sentiment.