Market highlights: Oil keeps rising, Bitcoin follows steady upward trajectory

By: Daniela Kirova
Daniela Kirova
Daniela was born in Bulgaria, grew up in Chicago, and then moved to Michigan to attend the University of… read more.
on Oct 18, 2021
  • Oil gets boost from pandemic restrictions loosening and demand recovering
  • Unexpectedly positive retail sales data gave US stocks a boost
  • UK100 adds 2%, approaching pre-pandemic levels

This morning, the crypto market was mixed. Bitcoin (BTC/USD) is changing hands at just over $61,000 at the time of writing. Today, it climbed by around 2%. Gradually, it’s approaching its all-time peak of $64,800, achieved in April this year. Of the other top 10 cryptos, XRP (XRP/USD) lost around 3% and Cardano (ADA/USD) around 1%. Ethereum (ETH/USD) also registered small losses.

Oil prices pass $82 threshold

After passing $80 last week, which happened for the first time since 2014, oil prices continued to climb today. With pandemic restrictions loosening, demand recovering, and power generators offering a solid boost, oil has passed the threshold of $82. Generators are gradually switching from gas to oil.

US stocks in the green, in part thanks to retail

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Unexpectedly positive retail sales data gave US stocks a boost. Last week, all of the major US stock indices registered gains. The NASDAQ100 was the biggest winner with +2.2%. Stocks were helped by retail sales data released at the end of last week.

Although market analysts expected retail sales to drop in September, consumers spent 0.7% more than in August. Retail sales are up 13.9% y/y.

Amazon up 3.7% last week

The consumer discretionary sector added 3.6% on the SPX500 last week. One notable contributor to that was Amazon, who gained 3.7% over the week. So far, however, the e-commerce giant is lagging behind the broader US market with a y/y return of less than 5%.

UK100 recovers from COVID

The UK100 added 2% last week, approaching pre-pandemic levels. The index’s return is now 12% y/y.

Eastern markets down

Asian markets were down today. The JPN225 registered small losses. The HKG50 was down 1%, and the China50 – 2.2%.

Alcoa hits a yearly high

Aluminum manufacturer Alcoa reached a 52-week peak. The company’s shares rose by 15% on Friday. This happened after they reported their highest quarterly net revenue ever.

European markets open flat

Today, European markets opened almost flat. The GER40 was down 3 points, the UK100 was down 1 point, and the FRA40 was up 4 points.  

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