2021-05-14 11:30:28

Retail Sales, Iron ore, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Elon Musk, Market rise

Retail sales data, commodities drop, and crypto’s wild week.


While today’s retail sales number will not see a rerun of last month’s blockbuster reading, economists expect continued strong consumer performance in April, with 1% growth from the previous month when the data is published at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The update comes as investors are getting more sensitive to inflation risks following this week’s higher than expected print. Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said rising inflation is a sign of “pent-up demand in the economy.” 


One of the most obvious places the re-opening trades has played out is in commodity prices as demand for basic materials has surged. That trend seems to be starting to reverse, with iron ore prices in Singapore tumbling below $200 a ton overnight, after trading as high as $233 earlier this week. Other base metals including copper and aluminum also dropped. While crude is higher in this morning’s trading, it has not reversed all of yesterday’s slump


There has been a lot going on in crypto this week, much of it driven by Elon Musk, who crashed Dogecoin at the weekend and knocked 15% off Bitcoin in midweek. A token called Internet Computer was launched and almost immediately was worth tens of billions of dollars. The joke about a joke coin called Shiba Inu soared and quickly faded. The Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service are investigating Binance Holdings Ltd. It’s all a bit breathless. Bitcoin is holding over $50,000 this morning. 

Markets rise

The inflation-fears driven drop in global stocks is taking a breather this morning with most global gauges moving higher. Overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 1.2% while Japan’s Topix index closed with a 1.9% gain. In Europe the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.5% higher by 5:50 a.m., with miners the stand-out laggards. S&P 500 futures pointed to plenty of green at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.639% and gold was higher. 

Coming up… 

The minutes from the most recent European Central Bank meeting are published at 7:30 a.m. As well as retail sales, U.S. import and export price data for April are published at 8:30 a.m. Industrial and manufacturing production for the month is at 9:15 a.m., with March business inventories and the latest University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment numbers at 10:00 a.m. The Baker Hughes rig count is at 1:00 p.m. 

What we’ve been reading

Here’s what caught our eye over the last 24 hours. 

And finally, here’s what Katie’s interested in this morning

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