Market Update – 7th July 2020.

Chinese equity markets continue to steal the show:  having ended yesterday (Monday 6 July 2020) with an impressive gain of 5.67%, the CSI 300 index rose by a further 0.60% this morning – bringing July’s gain to a whopping 12.83% and 14.68% for the year.

This has helped sentiment in other equity markets.  For example, on Wall Street, the Dow Jones closed last night up over 450 points, or 1.78%, while the broader S&P 500 index closed 1.59% higher.

While this may appear bemusing, given the news headlines which stubbornly remained focused on the continuing spread of the coronavirus, there is a very clear dichotomy opening up between new cases and deaths.  For example, in the US, while the daily new coronavirus cases continue to scarily run at around the 50,000 level, deaths have slowed to below 250 – levels last seen at the end of March.  Additionally, in the US hotspots, such as California and Arizona, where daily new cases are still at or near their record highs (at over 11,500 and 3,300 respectively), deaths have fallen to nearly zero (6 and 1 respectively).

Not only is this very good news, but it has also thankfully given some respite by allowing attention to return to economic data – which as we have consistently been saying in these commentaries, is very supportive for equity markets.  In fact, economic data has repeatedly come in much stronger than the major economists have been forecasting and has consistently shown that we are on track for that V-shaped economic recovery we have been championing.

For example, yesterday’s US ISM non-manufacturing index was a solid endorsement of our expectations of a sharp and strong rebound in economic activity as it bounced back into expansion territory (a level above 50), with a reading of 57.1 in June, up from 45.4 in May – and according to historical data from Bloomberg, this would imply that the US economy is growing at around 3% despite the fact that the US economy hasn’t yet fully reopened!

Unfortunately, equity market volatility is likely to remain elevated in the short-term as the tug-of-war between an economic recovery versus the coronavirus will continue to yo-yo equity markets.  The FTSE-100 which closed up 128 points or nearly 2.10% yesterday, is disappointingly currently down nearly 80 points this morning, or 1.25%.

Investment Management Team