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Affirm, the consumer lender led by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, sold shares well above its expected price range during an initial public offering, in a sign of the continued exuberance for new US listings. The San Francisco-based company raised $1.2bn in the offering after selling shares at $49 a piece, according to two people briefed on the matter, a price level that exceeded its already bumped up range of $41 to $44.  Affirm would have a market capitalisation of $11.9bn at the IPO price.

 

Analysts are wavering in their convictionthat the dollar will continue to weaken as a more optimistic outlook about the US economy challenges a key driver of the greenback slide. The US currency fell 5 per cent in the final two months of 2020, and many investors and analysts were expecting further declines in 2021. But the past week has brought a 1.2 per cent recovery. Emerging markets currencies that have performed strongly in recent months have also had their march interrupted by the resurgent dollar. The turnround reflects nagging doubts over whether the Federal Reserve will hold the line with its extremely supportive policy given greater hopes for an economic pick-up in the US.

 

After setting more than a dozen record lows last year, mortgage rates began 2021 on an upward climb, and that lit a fire under borrowers, fearing they might miss the last of the lowest rates. Mortgage applications to refinance a home loan spiked 20% last week compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. That was the highest level since last March. Volume was 93% higher than a year ago.

 

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.
 

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