International Market Overview 22 December 2021

Sharing our Daily Market Overview with you, ensuring that you do not miss out on any important market changes!

 

International Market Update

 

  • European stocks rebounded 1.4% on Tuesday, recouping much of the losses they suffered during the sharp sell-off in the previous session. Investors are juggling the rapid spread of the Omicron variant and the introduction of containment measures by governments around the world, new scientific analysis on the severity of the disease and pharmaceutical developments in booster vaccines and treatments.
  • Stock futures were subdued early Wednesday morning after the major indexes recovered from a three-day losing streak sparked by fears about the omicron covid variant. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 0.11% lower. S&P 500 futures slipped 0.15% and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.23%. In regular trading, all three major indexes rallied, pushing their weekly gains into the green. The Dow gained 560 points, or 1.6%. The S&P 500 rose 1.8% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 2.4%. Travel industry stocks staged a relief rally as investors brushed aside covid-related fears and bought the dip. Delta Air Lines rose 5.9%, United Airlines jumped 6.9% and Carnival surged 8.7%.
  • The S&P 500 is up 23.8% year to date and nearly 108% since hitting a low of 2,237.40 on March 23, 2020. While it was an extraordinary rally for Wall Street, Cramer said Garner wanted to emphasise that it was also “extremely unusual”.
  • The Aussie and Kiwi dollars gave back some of their gains from the previous day on Wednesday as the rally in riskier asset classes lost steam. The Australian dollar lost 0.3% to $0.7130 and the New Zealand dollar 0.3% to $0.6747 after both surged the previous day along with oil prices and global equities. With slight declines in the pound, which had also benefited from Tuesday’s rally, and the euro, the dollar index ended its two-day losing streak and edged up slightly to 96.538, but still remained well within its recent trading range.
  • Asian stock markets advanced on Wednesday as global investors’ risk appetite rises toward the end of the year, even as the number of cases of the omicron variety rises around the world. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.6% after U.S. stocks ended the previous session with gains.

 

In International news

 

FDA approves first injectable treatment to prevent HIV infection

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an injectable form of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) drug Cabotegravir, which is administered every two months to prevent HIV infection. The injection – Apretude – to prevent the AIDS virus is intended as an alternative to taking pills every day and has been approved for use in adults and adolescents at risk. The first two doses are given one month apart, then the injection is given every two months. Patients can start their treatment with Apretude or take oral cabotegravir for four weeks to test how well they tolerate the drug. The Apretude package insert warns against taking the drug unless a negative HIV test has been confirmed. A label warning is the FDA’s most stringent warning and indicates serious or life-threatening risks of a drug. Apretude’s approval was based on a final study that found the drug to be 66% more effective in preventing HIV infections than Gilead’s Truvada daily tablets. Both cabotegravir and the daily pill were well tolerated in the study. The study was conducted with men who engage in sexual activity with other men, as well as transgender women who have sex with men and are therefore at risk of HIV infection.

 

Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey pokes fun at Web3 venture capitalists

Bitcoin enthusiast Jack Dorsey, who just stepped down as head of Twitter, has taken to the service he co-founded to voice his displeasure with so-called Web3 technology and the involvement of venture capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz. Web3, the still-blurry term for blockchain-based decentralised systems and technologies designed to replace the internet as we know it, has received a lot of attention and funding in 2021, with Andreessen Horowitz among its most vocal proponents. The trading of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Ethereum and Solana blockchains has been the most visible manifestation, and many companies are now investing in developing decentralised apps and games for these platforms. “They do not own ‘web3,'” Dorsey tweeted. “The VCs [venture capitalists] and their LPs [limited partnerships] do. It will never escape their incentives.” The post received more than 16,000 likes and thousands of retweets. Many responded with comments like “do not agree at all” and “totally wrong,” but many others supported the post. Tesla CEO Elon Musk intervened in the discussion by asking if anyone had seen Web3, to which Dorsey replied, “It’s somewhere between A and Z,” suggesting that it is under the control of the company founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, VC, commonly referred to as a16z. Earlier, Dorsey, whose company Block also includes Spiral, a project “aimed at making bitcoin the planet’s currency of choice,” tweeted in response to musician Cardi B that bitcoin will replace the U.S. dollar. The series of tweets and replies from the former Twitter chief caused disagreement and debate on the service on Monday. Chris Dixon, general partner of a16z, offered an olive branch, saying he was “a big fan” of Dorsey and “hoped we could eventually bring him to ETH [Ethereum] and other blockchains.” “It’s important that we focus our energy on truly secure and resilient technologies that belong to the masses of people, not individuals or institutions,” Dorsey responded.