New Delhi: Covid cases are now rising again on a global basis which was not the case as recently as late February and this pick up is mainly due to India, Turkey and Brazil, according to Christopher Wood of Jefferies.
In his Greed and Fear financial commentary, Wood noted that the 7-day average daily Covid case count globally bottomed at 358,583 on 20 February and has since risen by 378,035 or 105% to 736,618, or only 0.4% below the peak reached in mid-January.
The 7-day average daily case counts in India, Turkey and Brazil increased by 151,326, 48,522 and 24,720 respectively over the same period, accounting for a combined 59% of the increase globally, Wood said.
“Unfortunately, it is also clear that emerging markets are laggards. There are two problems here. The first is the availability of vaccines in countries with large populations. The second is that a lot of ordinary people in developing counties are wary of taking the vaccine. This problem has become more critical of late as cases in India, for example, have continued to surge indicating the spread of more infectious new variants,” Wood added.
He said the key point for markets which are, first and foremost, US driven is that the vaccine rollout continues in America with 37% of the population having received at least one jab even as the number of cases has started to turn up again. The 7-day average daily case count in America has risen by 33% from a low of 53,663 on 23 March to 71,277.
Meanwhile it will also become an issue for emerging markets that the messenger RNA (mRNA) technology vaccines of Moderna and Pfizer are not really affordable or indeed practical for many developing countries given that they require sub-zero temperatures. Yet these vaccines are far more easily tweaked for the new variants.
In terms of the major economies, America and Britain remain well ahead of the game in vaccination. “Indeed the success of Operation Warp Speed, conceived in the spring of 2020, is a great example of the American ‘can do’ attitude at work”, Wood said.