Gold Books Second Weekly Rise
Gold spot prices increased 0.7% to trade at $1744 per ounce, as lockdowns in Europe, a weaker USD, and unchanged yields drove demand for the bullion. Also, the first high-level US-China meeting of the Biden administration got off to a rough start on Thursday, as both sides leveled sharp rebukes of the others’ policies. During the week, higher inflation expectations nudged gold higher, gaining 1.4% to book the second straight advance.
Oil Prices Rebound Modestly
WTI crude oil prices gained 2.4% to $61.44 per barrel on Friday while Brent prices advanced 1.8% to trade at $64.43 per barrel, rebounding modestly but still booking their worst week since October. On Thursday, prices dropped more than 7% as a new wave of coronavirus infections across Europe dampened expectations of any imminent recovery in fuel demand. Several economies reimposed lockdowns and vaccination programs were slowed by concerts over potential side effects. Meanwhile, US drillers added nine oil rigs in the week, the biggest increase since January. During the week, prices dropped nearly 6%.
Mexican Stocks Close Lower
Mexico’s IPC lost 544 points or 1.1% to 47,028 on Friday to extend its decline after reaching on Tuesday a high since September 2018. On the pandemic side, the US government announced that 2.5 million of its AstraZeneca vaccine doses will be sent to Mexico. On the macro side, latest figures showed retail trade shrank for the second month in January due to coronavirus restrictions but preliminary estimates point to a 4% rebound in February. During the week, Fitch Ratings improved its 2021 GDP growth outlook for Mexico to 4.7% a few weeks later after Moody’s revised its own forecast to 5.5% and ahead of a new revision from the Ministry of Finance in two weeks. During the week, the IPC lost 1.5%.
Brazilian Equities Rebound
Brazil’s Ibovespa gained 1386 points or 1.2% to 116,222, as equity markets recovered amid steady 10-year Treasury yields at 1.72%. On the domestic side, state-controlled Banco do Brasil announced on Thursday its CEO Andre Brandao has resigned and is expected to leave his post on April 1, after crashing earlier this year with President Jair Bolsonaro over an austerity drive. On the pandemic side, the mayor of the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, announced today the closure of beaches over the weekend in an attempt to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the number of hospitalizations reach records. During the week, the Ibovespa advanced 1.7%. .