Weekly Update 13 Mar 2020 Market Madness
Cryptocurrencies and stocks fell, national currencies soared, and commodities and bonds were mixed. The largest gains were in 1-3 year bonds and their zero maturity sibling, the USD; they rose 7.8% and 7.7% respectively. Coffee wasn't far behind, gaining 7.1%. Ethereum suffered the most, collapsing 41.1%. Bitcoin dropped 34.3%, while palladium and gold stocks vied for third place, falling 26.9% and 26.6%.
The market action this week was dominated by a move into cash, and national currencies were huge beneficiaries of this. Even the weakest currency, the Canadian Dollar, rose 3.4%. The US Dollar, still being the world's reserve currency, gained the most, rising 7.7%. SHY, the 1-3 year bond ETF, rose slightly more than cash, closing up 7.8%. Long term bonds finished down 0.6%.
Cryptos fell hard, led by Ethereum, which hit a low of 2.22 grams on Thursday, then rallied to finish the week at 2.65 grams, down 41.1%, and 92% below its all time high. Bitcoin followed a similar pattern, making a low of 98.4 grams before recovering to close at 110.7 grams, down 34.3% for the week, and 77% below its all-time high. Despite these reverses, only Bitcoin and long term bonds are still higher today than they were a year ago, up 19.1% and 8.1% respectively.
Equities all moved lower, led by the HUI gold stocks which closed down 26.6%. The best performer was the S&P 500, which rose and fell repeatedly, hitting a low of 49.1 grams on Thursday, but recovered to finish the week at 54.0 grams, down 1.7%. The European STOXX 50 ended down 11.4%, while the UK FTSE 100 index (not in table) dropped 14.1%.
Commodities were some of the week's best and worst performers: coffee gained 7.1%, and palladium plummeted 26.9%. Several commodities made new all-time lows on Monday, including copper, crude oil, and cotton; but copper and cotton rebounded to finish the week up 3.6% and 3.8% respectively. Platinum fell 5.9% to a new all-time low of 15.6 grams/oz, and silver declined 2.8% to 314 mg/oz, hovering just above its all-time low of 309 mg/oz.
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