Extract from Redwood Financial’s Economic Review April 2021.
(Data compiled by TOMD)
In the UK, the FTSE 100 closed April up 3.82%, a third consecutive monthly gain. The blue-chip index breached the 7,000-point marker for the first time in 15 months in mid-April. Optimism of a fast-paced recovery, positioned the index for its biggest monthly gain since November. The FTSE 250 gained 4.55%, while the AIM index closed up 7.25%.
The Euro Stoxx gained 1.42% in the month, while the Nikkei 225 closed April down 1.96%, as stricter government curbs to contain rising virus infections, raised economic recovery concerns.
US indices retreated from record peaks on the last trading day of the month, as stocks paused after strong earnings results and encouraging economic data, with President Biden’s stimulus package providing further support. On 28 April, the Federal Reserve provided reassurance that it was not intending to alter its current monetary policy just yet. Despite weakness at the end of the month, the NASDAQ completed its sixth consecutive month of gains, rising 5.40% in April. The Dow closed the month on 33,874.85, a gain of 2.71%.
On the foreign exchanges, sterling closed the month at $1.38 against the US dollar. The euro closed at €1.14 against sterling and at $1.20 against the US dollar.
Oil prices rose to a six-week high toward the end of the month, as a weak dollar, strong economic data from the US and a strengthening recovery in demand, outweighed concerns about higher infection rates in India and Brazil. Brent crude closed the month trading at around $66 a barrel, an increase of 4.81% in the month. Gold is trading at around $1,769 a troy ounce, an increase of 4.65% on the month.