It was a volatile week for equities, but one which pretty much came out flat for the overall MSCI Global Equity Index, though the UK equity market, FTSE All Share, pulled back -0.98%. On Friday US markets bounced back, after sliding on Thursday, on a report that Biden was looking to raise Capital Gains Tax. Stocks whipsawed this week with rising coronavirus cases, mixed economic data and corporate earnings.

The week ended with US President Joe Biden’s climate change summit. The event, meant to demonstrate America’s return to the stage as a climate leader, garnered only modest pledges from attendees despite Biden’s promise of a monumental 50% cut in US emissions, declaring “this is the decisive decade” for tackling climate change. The important point appears to be everyone pulling together. Biden’s administration is focused on commitments from banks and private businesses to help fight the accelerating climate crisis. Four of the biggest US banks on Wall Street – Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, JP Morgan & Citigroup, have pledged $6 trillion in sustainable finance. The billions of dollars they will save in taxes is probably one of the reasons for such grand generosity.

In the developed world the infection rate from the pandemic continues to fall steadily, as the vaccine continues to be rolled out. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was finally put back into action in the US. However, in India, the pandemic continues to spiral out of control. On Friday, the nation reported 332,730 new infections, yet another global record. Hospitals are overwhelmed and turning patients away, with the country turning to mass cremations for the thousands dying each day. Incredibly tragic news and one that says we are not out of the woods yet.

Last week also proved a volatile week for Bitcoin, its worst week in months. The notoriously volatile cryptocurrency hit a high of $64,870 on 14th April, but a fresh bout of selling on Friday drove it down nearly -8% to $47,525. It keeps getting worse for the $35 billion Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, which is trading at a significant discount to the value of the underlying digital assets it owns. It has lost nearly a fifth of Its value since last Friday, and Wall Street analysts are warning of further pain to follow. An area of the market with lots of focus and hype, but an area we have left well alone.

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