Markets start the week with the price of crude oil rising near record highs as official Chinese economic growth beats expectations.
The price of crude oil continues its strong advance, with WTI having risen by more than one third in barely six weeks. The price is close to its 8-year high made a few weeks ago at $85.39. Traders should watch carefully what the price does if that high is reached again soon.
Chinese official GDP data just released has exceeded expectations, showing an 8.1% growth during 2021 and a 4% rise over the last quarter, when the expected quarterly figure was an increase of only 3.3%. This may help further boost the price of crude oil.
US bond yields are rising, pricing in a US rate hike in March and a Federal Funds Rate of 1.0% (from the current 0.25%) by the end of 2022.
The Bank of Japan will release its Outlook Report, Policy Statement, and Policy Rate later. No change in the Policy Rate is expected. The release of the Outlook Report could cause volatility in the Japanese yen.
Bitcoin may have found support at $40k and Ethereum at $3k. These could be bullish signs for these two cryptocurrencies in particular and the crypto market in general. It is a public holiday in the USA today due to Martin Luther King Day. US stock markets will be closed and trading in the Forex market will likely be lighter than usual.
In the Forex market, the US dollar is continuing its rise from Friday, in line with its long-term bullish trend. Over the current short-term, the euro and Canadian dollar are the strongest currencies, while the Australian dollar is the weakest.
Daily new coronavirus cases soared to a new global record Thursday, with more than 3.3 million new cases recorded for the first time. Nearly one quarter of these confirmed new cases are in the USA. The World Health Organization believes 50% of Europeans will become infected over the coming weeks.
Data suggests that the globally rampant omicron coronavirus variant, while considerably more infectious, has notably milder effects than previous coronavirus strains, with an estimated 70% reduction in the probability of hospitalization. This is potentially very good news for both health and economy. Pfizer have announced they plan to have an omicron-specific vaccine ready in March.
It is estimated that 59.9% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccination.
Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 328.8 million with an average case fatality rate of 1.69%.
The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to now be increasing most quickly in Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, the UAE, Uruguay, Venezuela, and the USA.
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