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Recap February 16: Stocks at Record Highs – Coronavirus Lingers (Recap Ep058)

In the recap of this week, we found the stock markets globally edged higher on Friday, as investors gamble that damage to the world economy from China’s coronavirus outbreak, will not be long term as earlier feared, despite the rather sharp rise in the number of coronavirus deaths & infections as reported by China. Some see the possibility of even more Chinese central bank stimulus measures, in response to any further slowdown likely.

International Energy Agency slashes its forecast for global oil demand growth in 2020 by 365K barrels per day to 825K bpd, the lowest level since 2011, as the coronavirus taps down demand in China’s oil-hungry economy. In the latest monthly outlook, the IEA sees global oil demand shrinking by 435K bpd in Q1, which will be the first quarterly contraction, since the global financial crisis in 2009.

BlackRock’s new exchange-traded fund, the iShares ESG MSCI EM Leaders ETF, has already attracted over $600M this week, despite only starting trading on Friday. Best debut for any U.S. ETF this year, as investing in firms that care about environmental, social governance. Although only a small part in the $4.5T U.S. ETF market, sustainable funds added more than $8B in 2019 & assets recently topped $20B.

Germany did not grow economically in Q4 2019; Kramp-Karrenbauer will not run for German Chancellor; Bitcoin moved above $10K; L Brands to announce deal to sell Victoria’s Secret brand; Big boost to NASA’s annual funding on plans; Lyft stocks drop by losses report in 2019; Historic plunge for Nissan shares; Locust infestation in Africa out of control.

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