Imperium Capital Publication

Viewpoint – April 2021

The pandemic continued to dominate discourse in April as case numbers globally reached record daily levels, but the impact became increasingly differentiated between the developed world, where the vaccine roll-out is bringing herd immunity and the end of lockdowns and movement restrictions into sight, and developing nations, notably India and Brazil, where second waves have spread rapidly with devastating effect and vaccine roll-out is trailing badly. However, the global dominance in both GDP and stock market capitalisation of the developed world together with China, which was the earliest economy to rebound from the pandemic, has underpinned growing confidence in recovery and the prospects for equity markets. The US and global equity market indices reached new all-time highs in April, with the S&P 500 up 5.3% and MSCI World +4.7%. Emerging markets were more constrained by the pandemic news, and by further evidence of China’s widening clampdown on its internet giants as both Tencent and Meituan were hit with anti-trust investigations following a similar move on Alibaba. The MSCI Emerging Markets index returned 2.5% in the month, with China +1.4%.