World equity markets have rebounded sharply from their coronavirus-linked lows (chart 1) after the number of cases in some of the hotspots showed first signs of easing (chart 2).
Also, the trillions of dollar worth of stimulus packages announced by the US Federal Reserve and other large central banks have once again improved investors’ appetite for risk assets.
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The Indian markets after dropping about 40 per cent this year have bounced back 20 per cent. The rebound in the US markets has been much sharper with the Dow Jones Industrial Average surging 27 per cent from its 2020 lows. Last week, the US Federal Reserve announced a fresh round of emergency measures, totalling as much as $2.3 trillion. Foreign inflows into domestic equities improved remarkably last week (chart 3).
Not just equities but gold prices, too, have jumped following the Fed action (chart 4). Also, bonds in the developed world have rallied, thanks to the unlimited bond-buying programme announced by the US central bank (chart 5).
Back home, the bond and currency markets remained weak (chart 6) on worries that the government will have to keep fiscal prudence on the back burner to support the economy, which has seen a virtual sudden-stop of activity to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Meanwhile, oil and other commodity prices have wavered due to the uncertainty over the fate of the deal between top oil producing countries and continued uncertainty over when the lockdowns in different part of the world would end and normalcy will return (chart 7).
StatsGuru is a weekly feature. Every Monday, Business Standard guides you through the numbers you need to know to make sense of the headlines; Compiled by BS Research Bureau