Global Markets Newsletter – December 2020

In December the distribution of the anti covid-19 vaccine started taking world dimensions, hence it was the best month psychologically for investors. Joe Biden took office unofficially and the United Kingdom started injecting its citizens, but at the same time announced the new mutation of covid-19 which was traced, caused a few days isolation and halt of transportation. All the above coupled with local news around the globe made December volatile.

In the US in December the PMI Manufacturing was announced well above 50 (56.7) nevertheless same as before. Imports and exports were higher by 5 and 6 bln respectively and US non-farm payrolls were worse at 245k from 877k. Unemployment was announced stable at 6.7% from 6.9% coupled by stable inflation at 1.2%. Retail sales lowered by 1.1% on a monthly basis and 5.49% on a yearly basis. Real estate industry has improved marginally with new home sales up by 1.2% and building permits by 6.2%.

In Europe, the PMI Manufacturing index was at 53.8 slightly better from previous (53.6) which shows weaker economic expansion than the US economy. GDP growth for the third quarter was announced at 12.5% on a quarterly basis and well negative at -4.3% on a yearly basis. Recession was a fact for 2020. October retail sales were better by 1.5% from the negative numbers of September (-1.7%).

In Greece, the General Index after passing 700 units closed above 800 units at 808.99 writing a total yearly negative performance of -11.74%. Bonds reacted positively confirming the country’s credibility.

The EUR/USD reacted in favour of the European currency and closed above 1.21 with a yearly performance of 9.32% mainly due to high liquidity of the dollar. Volatility is expected to decrease with the euro strengthening further to 1.25 levels in the 1st half of 2021.

Our preference remains US equities versus Euro-pean, where we hold no position. US equities hold 60% of the total portfolio, of which the technological sector holding 60%. Cash remains crucial as corrections are often buying opportunities.

S&P-500 (yearly – 2020)
Dax-30 (yearly – 2020)
EUR/USD  (yearly – 2020)

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