Weekly Update 5 Mar 2021

National currencies, cryptocurrencies, and equities moved higher, while bonds and commodities were mixed. Crude oil dominated, rising 10.4% to outperform even the cryptocurrencies, where ether rose 8.9% and bitcoin gained 8.5%. The largest losses were in platinum, down 4.2%, and coffee, off 3.7%. Although long term bonds lost biggly in dollar terms, the sharply rising value of the USD offset most of that loss to leave them almost unchanged for the week, down just 0.2%.

The Chinese Yuan outperformed other national currencies by a wide margin, rising 4.2%. Weakest in our chart was the Euro, which added 0.8%, although the Swiss Franc (not in table) did even worse, falling 0.1%. US Dollar cash rose 2.7%, as did its short term notes. Long term bonds were little changed, off 0.2%.

Ethereum worked its way higher throughout the week to close at 28.1 grams, up 8.9%, but still 17.6% below its all-time high. Bitcoin peaked mid week at 918.5 grams, then pulled back to close at 897.2 grams, up 8.6%, about 10.5% shy of its ATH.

Equities did very well, led higher by the HUI gold stock index, which rose 7.6%. Japanese stocks were weakest, advancing just 0.8%. The Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 have both been in downward trending channels since 2018, and they have both broken out to the upside in recent weeks. The Dow rose 4.6% to close at 577.5 grams, solidly above its 36 month moving average of 555.0 grams… and closed above that moving average each day for the entire week.

The week's largest gains and losses were both in commodities. Crude oil rose 10.4% to levels last seen in early January, 2020. Copper also rose, advancing 2.3%. The week's largest losses were in platinum, down 4.2%, coffee, down 3.7%, and silver, off 2.4%. In spite of their losses this week, all three remain in solid uptrends from their March 2020 lows.

Year over year we are now measuring from just before the March 12, 2020 bottom; as you might expect, most assets are now in the black. The most notable exceptions are long term treasuries (down 13.1%) and palladium (off 7.4%). The Japanese Yen and the US Dollar are also in the red, off 3.6% and 2.2% respectively. Cryptocurrencies are by far the strongest performers, with ether rising 561% and bitcoin gaining 427%. Many commodities are also shining, especially copper (up 54.4%) and silver (up 44.2%). Stock market recoveries have also been robust, with the Nikkei rising 30.5% and the S&P 500 gaining 24.3%.

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