News & Analysis

Stock Market Continues to Surprise: Apple Made History

August 21, 2020

vBy Deepta Bolaky

Investors digested another week packed with geopolitical headlines, COVID-19 cases, vaccines related-updates, economic data and the Presidential Nomination Conventions. As the week comes to an end, market participants took note of the upcoming trade talks and the positive vaccine news by Pfizer and BioNTech SE.

Stock Market – New Highs

Global stocks started the week on a mixed note as investors struggled to understand the delay in the US-China trade meeting. The outperformance of the tech sector and fresh stimulus from China provided support to the stock market amid virus woes, the uncertainty around the pace of recovery, dovish FOMC minutes and elevated tensions between US and China after the Trump administration ended the pact with Hong Kong on extradition and reciprocal tax treatment.

Source: Bloomberg

Despite the current angst in the equity market and the standoff in Congress over the coronavirus relief package, we saw a few highs on Wall Street. Major US equity indices flirted near record highs lifted by US big mega-cap tech stocks.

Source: Bloomberg

Apple made history this week to become the first US company to be valued at US$2 trillion. Its market value has doubled in two years and its shares are currently priced at $470.10.

Source: Bloomberg

European stocks

European stocks remained stuck within a range as investors are concerned about the rally in the stock market against the global economic backdrop and the stimulus-fuelled economy.

Source: Bloomberg

ASX – Busiest Earnings Week

Investors geared up to the busiest week of the Australian earnings season. We have updates from big retailers, iron-ore miners, major banks, and tech stocks. As of writing, Information Technology, Consumer Discretionary and Health index were leading the gains on the Australian share market. Energy and Consumer staples were among the laggards the worst-performing sectors.

Source: Bloomberg

For a detailed report of key companies reporting results this week – please read

Forex Market

In the forex market, major currencies were mostly stronger against the greenback. The US dollar staged a comeback on Wednesday against its peers after the release of the FOMC minutes which provide both caution and less dovish tones. However, the momentum was short-lived. 

Source: Bloomberg Terminal

The British Pound edged higher against the G10 currencies on the back of the overall weakness of the US dollar and better-than-expected inflation data:

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 1.1% in July 2020, up from 0.8% in June 2020; 
  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) was 1.0% in July 2020, up from 0.6% in June 2020.

Similarly, the Canadian dollar was among the best performers lifted by higher commodity prices and CPI figures:

  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.1% on a year-over-year basis in July, down from a 0.7% increase in June. Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose 0.7%. 
  • The CPI grew at a slower pace than in June as a result of a broad-based slowdown in price growth, spanning both goods and service

Furthermore, on the economic front, economic data was mixed:

Japan: Japan’s economy contracted the worst on record. GDP contracted an annualised 27.8% in the 3 months through June from the previous quarter. 

United States: Building Permits came above expectations at 1.495M while Housing Starts surged by 22.6% in July. On the manufacturing sector, the diffusion index for current activity fell 7 points to 17.2 in August, it’s third consecutive positive reading after reaching long-term lows in April and May. 

Labour market data disappointed as well with jobless claims rising up again. In the week ending August 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,106,000, an increase of 135,000 from the previous week’s revised level.

Oil Market

Crude oil prices traded in familiar ranges. The weekly oil reports have been mixed:

  • API report: Crude oil stock came better-than-expected with a decline of 4.26M barrels compared to a decline of 2M forecasted
  • EIA report: Crude oil stocks change came in at -1.632M – lower than the expected -2.67M barrels. 

As of writing, WTI Crude oil (Nymex) and Brent Crude (ICE) were trading around $42.82 and $44.97 respectively.


Another volatile week for Gold. After reaching fresh record highs, the precious metal plunged and slipped the most in seven years last week. Gold reclaimed the $2,000 level as risk sentiment faltered on Tuesday earlier this week. Virus woes, ongoing fiscal support, geopolitical tensions, the uncertainty of the global economic outlook still provide support to the haven asset. As of writing, the XAUUSD pair is trading around the $1,940 level.

Source: Bloomberg

By Deepta Bolaky

Key Upcoming Events

  • Gfk Consumer Confidence, and Retail Sales (UK)
  • National CPI (Japan)
  • Markit Manufacturing, Services and Composite PMI(Germany)
  • Markit Manufacturing, Services and Composite PMI(Eurozone)
  • Markit Manufacturing, and Services PMI (UK)
  • Retail Sales (Canada)
  • Markit Manufacturing, Services and Composite PMI, and Existing Home Sales (US)
Monday, 24 August 2020 
Indicative Index Dividends
Dividends are in Points
ASX200 WS30 US500 US2000 NDX100 CAC40 STOXX50
5.351 6.927 0.398 0.01 0.053 0 0
ESP35 ITA40 FTSE100 DAX30 HK50 JP225 INDIA50
0 0 0 1.137 0 0.221

Disclaimer:  The articles are from GO Markets analysts,  based on their independent analysis or personal experiences. Views or opinions or trading styles expressed are of their own;  should not be taken as either representative of or shared by GO Markets.  Advice (if any),  are of a ‘general’ nature and not based on your personal objectives, financial situation or needs.  You should therefore consider how appropriate the advice (if any) is to your objectives, financial situation and needs, before acting on the advice.  If the advice relates to acquiring a particular financial product, you should obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Financial Services Guide (FSG) for that product before making any decisions.


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