Global stocks retreat amid rising coronavirus cases

By Simon Herrmann. Published at Jul 17, 2020, in Market Wrap

A gauge of global equity markets slid on Thursday as investors assessed the rising number of COVID-19 cases in many countries and elevated levels of unemployment claims heightened concerns of the economic fallout from the pandemic.

U.S. stock markets traded lower as technology shares eased after earlier this week California shut down its economy once again amid a spike in cases. Large caps including Microsoft or Apple led the decline and while retail sales data showed a resurgence in June, it was not enough to get investors excited.

The S%P 500 fell 0.34%, while the Nasdaq Composite eased 0.73%.

The S&P 500 trades just 5% below its record high from February as a “perfect economic rebound” has already been priced into stock valuations. The U.S. is currently reporting north of 60,000 new coronavirus cases a day.

ASX futures trade a mere 13 points higher after Asian markets declined earlier in the session. The local share market opened lower and finished throughout the day, leaving the ASX 200 0.69% or 42 points lower to be last quoted at 6,010.9 points.

Shanghai Composite falls 4.5%

Asian equities traded in red on Thursday, led lower by Chinese shares which fell a hefty 4.5%. The Hang Seng declined 2% while the Nikkei traded 0.76% lower.

Australia held up slightly better however the renewed coronavirus outbreak in Victoria has left an increasing number of investors on the side-line.

Reuters data showed that the S&P 500 has exceeded the Nasdaq by nearly 3 percentage points over the past week, its greatest five-day outperformance over the Nasdaq in months, reflecting a shift away from the technology heavyweights that have led Wall Street’s gains in recent months.

In Europe, investors were cautious as well with equities from London to Frankfurt in the red.

The FTSE 100 drifted lower after a poor Asian lead to close 0.67% lower after a 1.8% jump on Wednesday. In Frankfurt it was much the same as the DAX declined 0.43% to 12,874.97 points.

The pan-European STOXX Europe 600 Index traded 0.47% lower to 372.13 points. MSCI’s world equity index, which tracks shares in 49 nations, fell 0.72%.

Gold fell 1% just below US$1,800 as effectively all asset classes retreated. Crude Oil prices fell in unison with the Crude Oil Continuous Contract down 1.17% while Brent trade down only marginally.

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