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FTSE 100 finishes flat, Bitcoin hits all-time high ahead of Coinbase IPO

EconomyApr 13, 2021 17:06
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Key Points

  • FTSE 100 closing price of 6891.10, +0.03%
  • Bitcoin hits all-time high above $63,000
  • GBP/USD unchanged after UK GDP, US CPI
  • Oil futures higher following OPEC monthly report

By Samuel Indyk

Investing.com – The FTSE 100 finished flat as markets digested more problems with Covid vaccines and following US inflation figures. The US announced it would be pausing distributing the Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) vaccine over fears of rare blood clots. The decision to suspend administering the jabs was taken due to an “abundance of caution” after six cases of people developing blood clots from a total of around 7 million administered doses. The news initially weighed on stocks on both sides of the Atlantic amid fears that a slow down in vaccinations could delay the economic rebound. However, the US FDA said they expect the pause in JNJ’s vaccine to be a “matter of days” while the investigation continues. While the pause is ongoing in the US, Johnson and Johnson announced they will be delaying the rollout in Europe.

In UK specific news, Just Eat (LON:JE) Takeaway shares were at the top of the FTSE 100 after a positive trading update pre-market. The company announced orders were up 79% in Q1. JD Sports (LON:JD) shares were also higher after the company’s full-year results. The company said they expect profit to beat pre-pandemic levels in the current financial year and resumed their dividend as stores in the UK begin to reopen.

On the data front, the UK’s Office for National Statistics announced GDP of 0.4% in February, below the expected 0.6%. Nevertheless, January’s drop was not as bad as first reported with the economy shrinking just 2.2% from the earlier reading of 2.9%.

From the US, consumer prices rose 0.6% in March from a month earlier, slightly more than the expected 0.5% increase.

The initial reaction to the data saw a small spike higher in the USD before quickly paring the move as the rise in inflation is unlikely to cause the Fed to change course. Powell and co. continue to think a rise in inflation will only be temporary and will happily look through monthly increases before they start tapering asset purchases or thinking about interest rate hikes. GBP/USD was trading broadly unchanged on the day at 1.3735.

Cryptocurrencies were in focus after numerous coins hit all-time highs in Tuesday’s trading session, including the largest cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The rally in cryptocurrencies comes just a day ahead of the listing of Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States.

Crude oil was higher with WTI and Brent futures both gaining after the OPEC monthly oil market report. OPEC raised their global demand forecast by 190,000 barrels per day, expecting consumption of 96.46mln barrels per day this year. After the US market closes, the American Petroleum Institute releases its inventory data ahead of tomorrow’s official release from the Department of Energy.

FTSE 100 finishes flat, Bitcoin hits all-time high ahead of Coinbase IPO
 

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