On Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany will stop using the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for people under 60 starting from Wednesday, after the appearance of several new cases of blood clots. There was a policy change after the publication of new data on potential side effects approved by regional ministers of health. This is another situation that will impact the imports of Astra and another threat to Europe’s vaccination program, which is already hampered by supply delays, controversy, and political struggles.
Germany’s Independent Vaccination Committee has announced that only older people should be vaccinated with Astra, as rare blood clotting occurs predominantly in recipients who are younger than 60 years.
Against this background, the growth of the stock market stalled, bonds yield retreated from their highs and the euro demonstrated the largest decline among all major currencies. Investors are assessing the possible economic disturbance from a further slowdown in vaccination rates. Nevertheless, benchmark US Treasuries are above 1.70%, still indicating confidence that the global economy will recover soon.
An additional driver of the dollar’s growth was the publication of data on consumer confidence in the United States. The Conference Board index rose to 109.7 from the revised value of 90.4 in February, according to a report that was released on Tuesday. It was the strongest monthly gain in nearly 18 years and surpassed the most optimistic forecasts in the survey.
Household prospects have improved as millions of people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and restrictions on doing business are recalling. Against this background, the dollar index exceeded the highs on November 12, 2020, while gold fell to the lows of the current month and is trading around $1,680 per troy ounce.
Main market quotes:
- S&P 500 (F) 3,944.12 -3.63 (-0.09%)
- Dow Jones 33,066.96 -104.41 (-0.31%)
- DAX 15,008.61 +190.89 (+1.29%)
- FTSE 100 6,772.12 +35.95 (+0.53%)
- USD Index 93.332 +0.011 (+0.01%)
- China Manufacturing PMI (Mar) at 04:00 (GMT+3);
- UK GDP (q/q) (4q) at 09:00 (GMT+3);
- Germany Unemployment Change (Mar) at 10:55 (GMT+3);
- Eurozone CPI (y/y) (Mar) at 12:00 (GMT+3);
- ADP Nonfarm Employment Change (Mar) at 15:15 (GMT+3);
- US Crude Oil Reserves at 17:30 (GMT+3).