A year ago, the barrel of US light crude WTI was worth nothing. Worse, it had even entered negative territory. This event is probably one of the many incongruities that have occurred over the last 12 months, from the crash/bounce sequence to the emergence of covid-traders, the overbidding of IPOs of digital companies, the multiplication of SPACs and the explosion of bitcoin.
Bitcoin had a weekend of turmoil, to say the least, which illustrates the volatility that can take hold of crypto-currencies. After flirting with USD 65,000 last Thursday, bitcoin fell to USD 55,000 yesterday, a 15% drop in a few days. It is up slightly this morning. Although we read everywhere that crypto-currencies are gaining their credentials, they remain risky assets.
On equity markets, the mood is still upbeat as we head into a fairly intense week of Q1 earnings releases. Coca-Cola, International Business Machines, Johnson & Johnson, The Procter & Gamble, Netflix, Kering, Roche, ASML, Nestlé, Intel, SAP SE and Hermès are for example scheduled. In all, a good fifty companies with capitalizations in excess of $50 billion. The first announcements were particularly strong, which partly explains the good performance of the indices in recent sessions. Other important events this week include the ECB's rate decision on Thursday and a product presentation by Apple tomorrow.
Economic highlights of the day
There will be no major macroeconomic indicators today on the Western markets. This morning, Japan announced a surge in exports in March, while its industrial production contracted less than expected over the period. In the United Kingdom, the Rightmove housing indicator surged.
The euro/dollar pair is trading at 1.202 USD. The ounce of gold is slightly down at 1773 USD. In the oil market, a barrel of Brent crude is trading at USD 67.08 and a barrel of WTI at USD 63.05. The yield on 10-year U.S. debt stands at 1.57%, down slightly. Bitcoin is at USD 56,342.
*Coca-Cola reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit on Monday as vaccination and easing restrictions in Asia boosted demand for the beverage.
* Cryptocurrency-related stocks are retreating in pre-market trading after bitcoin fell as much as 14% in trading Sunday.
* A Tesla apparently without a driver crashed into a tree Saturday in Texas, killing both occupants, police said.
* Ark Fund bought $64 million worth of shares in the cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase and sold $99.5 million worth of Tesla stock.
* Facebook is set to launch a series of products under the "social audio" label to capitalize on the vogue for social audio networks like Clubhouse, according to tech site Recode.
* Manchester United gained 6.4 percent in pre-market trading after the announcement of the creation of a European Football Super League, of which the English club is a part.
* Gamestop trader Keith Gill, better known by his nickname "Roaring Kitty," whose social media posts helped spark the stock market frenzy around GameStop in January, exercised call options for 50,000 more shares at a $12 strike price, Bloomberg reported Sunday. In addition, the group announced on Monday that CEO George Sherman will resign by next July. The stock is up more than 6% in premarket trading.
* Pfizer and BioNTech announced Monday that the European Union has exercised an option to deliver an additional 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, bringing the total to 600 million doses to be delivered to the 27-member EU this year.
* Harley-Davidson gained more than 8% in premarket trading after reporting 10% quarterly revenue growth and raising its sales forecast, supported by increased shipments.
* Herman Miller announced Monday that it will buy rival Knoll for $1.8 billionin a cash-and-stock deal. In pre-market trading, Knoll gained 28.4% and Herman Miller gave up 13.6%.