Monday saw a wave of optimism across financial markets which was very hard to pin on any one particular catalyst. Stocks rose, riskier currencies rallied, and bond prices fell. The euro was the top-performing currency after it closed above $1.13 for the first time in over 2-weeks.
Yesterday’s surge in risk appetite was rather hard to define. Chinese markets began the move, closing around 5% higher. The Shanghai CSI 300, which is an index of China’s largest companies, rallied over 5.5% on the day and is now more valuable than just before the Covid-19 outbreak. The market commentators pinned this move on an increase in ‘bull sentiment’ as well as hopes for further government stimulus. However, a 5%+ move feels like a huge amount of hope! The positivity spread across to Europe where reopenings are going well, with infection rates broadly under control. US indices also gained but to a smaller degree, many remain cautious over the dramatic rise in infections.
The greenback weakened across the day with the euro taking full advantage. The divergence in the ability to control the virus suggests the euro may see larger demand through the US dollar in the coming weeks. The European recovery is ticking along nicely with the 2 hardest-hit nations, Italy and Spain, managing to keep infection rates in check.
Written by Viv Savani. 8:39am, July 7th 2020
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