As the total number of COVID-19 cases globally reached 8.5 million this week from 7.5 million reported last week while the death toll rose to 454,000 from 419,070 persons, this could not stop global stocks from rallying. 

Performance in the developed markets was impressive with all indices under our coverage recording gains w/w. In the US, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ indices rose 2.9% and 4.1% w/w respectively as investors looked beyond the spike in COVID-19 cases. In Europe, the ECB disbursed $1.4tn cheap loans to hundreds of banks across 19 countries as part of plans to support the economy. As a result, Germany’s XETRA DAX and France’s CAC 40 indices advanced 2.9% and 3.2% w/w respectively. Similarly, UK’s FTSE All-Share expanded 3.2% w/w. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng indices closed the week 1.4% and 0.8% higher, propped up by hopes of economic recovery after the governments eased lockdowns.

Performance across the BRICS markets mirrored that of the developed markets with all indices closing higher w/w. Brazil’s Ibovespa index led the gainers, up 4.7% w/w as a result of a 75bps rate cut to an all-time low of 2.25% during the week. Similarly, South Africa’s FTSE/JSE All-Share and India’s BSE Sens indices advanced 1.1% and 2.8% w/w respectively. Russia’s RTS index also expanded by 0.9% following a cut in benchmark rate (100bps) to its lowest level (4.5%) since the fall of the Soviet Union. Lastly, China’s Shanghai Composite index surged 1.6% w/w on the back of anticipated market-friendly reforms.

In Africa, the performance was bearish with 2 of 6 indices advancing w/w. Morocco’s Casablanca MASI and Egypt’s EGX 30 indices were the gainers, appreciating 4.3% and 0.2% w/w respectively. Conversely, Mauritius’ SEMDEX and Kenya’s NSE 20 indices recorded the highest selloffs, down 2.8% and 2.1% respectively. In the same vein, Nigeria’s All-Share and Ghana’s GSE Composite indices trended south, losing 1.4% and 0.5% w/w respectively.

In Asian and Middle East markets, the performance was the bullish performance as 4 of 5 indices we track closed the week higher. Thailand’s SET index emerged the lone loser, down 0.8% w/w. On the flip side, Turkey’s BIST 100 and UAE’s ADX General indices led gainers, up 3.4% and 1.2% respectively. Qatar’s DSM 20 and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul ASI indices trailed, advancing 0.9% and 0.6% w/w respectively. (Afrinvest)