News & Analysis

Word speak louder than actions! – Tweets move the markets whilst reopening does not

Andrew Saks, Monday, 17 May 2021

This morning, as Britain's seemingly endless lockdown comes to an end, trepidation has been very much the order of the day among as the GBPUSD remains at an identical point to most of last week, and the GBPEUR is hardly changed from the last two days of last week.

Certainly the public across most of Europe has become accustomed to viewing with scepticism any notion that there will be a permanent restoration of liberty by the government, hence there is no rallying of the Pound this morning against other majors. GBPUSD remains at 1.41 and EURUSD at 1.16.

What is worthy of note is that the FTSE 100, Britain's most prestigious index which has been on a huge upward run for a few weeks now, rocketed at 8,00am to 7,057 points which is the second highest that it has been since March 2020, the first highest point having been reached last week.

The peak was short lived, however. Within just half an hour the FTSE 100 index dropped suddenly to 7,038 which is still much higher than all of the past 12 months apart from one day in April.

It is the volatility that is worthy of note here. Not only did the FTSE 100 index fly up to 7,059 within a few minutes this morning, but it declined by almost 30 points in just 15 minutes, having risen by 20 points in 15 minutes just a few moments earlier.

Given that some of the listed companies on the FTSE 100 index are large leisure and hospitality groups, it is likely that the rise this morning could be attributed to their reopening after over a year of lockdowns.

Bearing in mind that the size of the companies listed on the FTSE 100 index means that they had the resources to weather a one year closure whilst smaller rivals will have gone out of business meaning that these firms will now have a greater market share in their sector, it is odd to see how the upward move became a greater downward one within a few minutes.

What is perhaps intriguing is that despite this very unusual volatility in the FTSE 100 index, the currency markets and commodity markets are absolutely still, with almost no movements at all.

Making bold statements in a fragile world in which many people have become accustomed to anticipating news via their televisions and internet service rather than interaction with the public or colleagues has become a force which has affected the value of many assets lately.

We have this year seen the meme stock short selling disaster in which Reddit users brought GameStop stock into such volatility that many brokerages and banks couldn't handle the order flow and locked traders out of their platforms, and we have also witnessed maverick disrupter Elon Musk's tweet last week which decimated the value of Bitcoin by 20%.

Today, Mr Musk announced that Tesla has not sold any Bitcoin, therefore his statement saying the firm would no longer accept it as payment for vehicle purchases was enough to move a heavily inflated market down by a substantial amount very quickly.

There was no sell-off by Tesla.

What people say these days certainly seems to have just as much, if not more effect than what they actually do.

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