Stock markets are still quiet ahead of earnings season in the US, but the continued drumbeat of good news has provided a foundation for some small increase in risk appetite.

  • Small gains appear as investors await earnings season
  • US CPI rises as petrol demand increases
  • ASOS bolstered by solid numbers

The quiet, directionless week continues across global markets, as we await the start of US earnings season. Until then investors can watch the sight of a sitting US president underdoing impeachment proceedings for the second time in one term, a quite remarkable achievement and quite the change from the second term that Mr Trump had been expecting to be granted about a year ago. Two encouraging signs for the global economy have been seen, with the first being the ongoing success of Israel’s vaccination programme showing that the Pfizer jab begins to bring down infection rates within days, blazing a trail for others to follow. The second encouraging point has been the rise in US consumer prices, driven by petrol demand, which again points towards a much better second half for the global economy. It will also put more gas in the tank of the oil rally, which has been built on limiting supply and increasing demand and has outshone equities over the past few sessions.

ASOS shares have gained 12% since the start of the year, and with today’s numbers this looks set to increase. After a loss of momentum in October and November the price is back on an upward path, as its prime position in the UK retail space is reinforced by increased volumes of online shopping. This is another trend given a helping hand by the pandemic, and one that is unlikely to reverse. The only question will be whether a post-pandemic cyclical recovery will hit these highly-priced growth stocks, leaving them out of favour compared with other sectors. 

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