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Tuesday, 19 January 2021

What the markets are doing on 19 January 2021

China smashed 2020: China’s economy is growing at a faster rate than before covid, expanding 6.5% and marking the highest y-o-y growth of any quarter since 2018. China was the only major world economy to grow last year, recording a GDP increase of 2.3% in 2020 despite a historic 6.8% contraction in the early months of the year as a result of an extensive lockdown to combat the initial spread of the virus. The Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal have the story.

One place that definitely didn’t is Europe — and it’s already having a bad 2021: Lockdowns across Europe have the continent heading for a double-dip recession, according to data which points to slowdowns in consumer spending, travel and workplace activity in the first weeks of the year, the FT says. Oxford Economics and Nomura estimate that the eurozone has already contracted between 1.8-2.3% in 4Q2020, and economists are expecting another fall this quarter, including in major economies Germany and Italy. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

Add fossil fuel-focused equity funds to the “2020 was a bad year” club: Ranking as the year’s worst performers after a sharp drop in demand due to lockdowns and global oil prices floundering, energy funds run by BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, and Brookfield each lost at least 30%, the FT reports. UK stocks also performed badly, being dominated by hard hit sectors such as oil and travel, while investments in technology and green energy gained ground.

Dubai’s property slump looks set to continue this year and the next: Property broker JL is predicting prices to fall by another 5-8% this year, having fallen 30% over the past seven years, Bloomberg reports.

Samsung is without its crown prince: Samsung’s Chairman-elect Lee Jae-yong is heading back to prison to serve a 30-month sentence following a rerun of a 2017 trial which found him guilty of a number of corruption charges in a scandal that caused the downfall of South Korean president Park Geun-hye. The sentence leaves the electronics giant without a leader for at least a year, and only if Jae-yong is granted early parole, Bloomberg says.




flat (YTD: +5.6%)



Buy 15.64

Sell 15.74



Buy 15.65

Sell 15.75


Interest rates CBE

8.25% deposit

9.25% lending




+0.6% (YTD: +2.8%)




+4.0% (YTD: +8.8%)




+1.2% (YTD: +9.4%)


S&P 500


flat (YTD: +0.3%)


FTSE 100


-0.2% (YTD: +4.0%)


Brent crude

USD 54.75



Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 2.64




USD 1,836




USD 36,705


The EGX30 was flat yesterday on turnover of EGP 1.5 bn (10.5% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net buyers. The index is up 5.6% YTD.

In the green: TMG Holding (+2%), Egypt Kuwait Holding (+1.7%) and Elsewedy Electric (+1.7%).

In the red: Egyptian Iron & Steel (-9.9%), Juhayna (-3.2%) and Madinet Nasr Housing (-2.5%).

Asian markets are all in the green with the exception of Shanghai, which is down less than 0.1% as we hit dispatch time this morning. Futures suggest Wall Street and Europe are on track to open in the green later today.

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