World stocks decline amid sour economic data, ASX futures down 28 points

By Simon Herrmann. Published at Jul 31, 2020, in Market Wrap

US stocks traded mostly lower overnight while oil prices fell as government data highlighted the deep economic impacts of the pandemic.

President Donald Trump added to market uncertainty after announcing that the US elections may be postponed, however he faced an immediate pushback by top Republicans.

On the other side of the Atlantic, European markets fell sharply as poor GDP data in Germany added to the subdued mood, with the Dax falling 3.5% as all 30 companies traded in the red. UK shares followed the market lower.

ASX futures have settled 28 points lower after most markets retreated overnight.

European stocks fall sharply

US markets were somewhat mixed as gains in technology offset broader market declines, however Europe experienced a bloodbath.

The STOXX Europe 600 index ended the day 2.16% lower as most sub-indices declined. The FTSE 100 fell 2.31% to 5,989.99 points while the DAX dropped 3.45% to 12,379.65 points.

US GDP fell a staggering 32.9% annualised rate last quarter, the deepest decline since the government started compiling data. While many analysts forecast such a decline, the market as does not seem to be too bothered by these results.

The S&P 500 fell 0.38% and the Dow Jones declined 0.85%. The Nasdaq rose 0.43% after tech giants including Apple, Facebook or Amazon reported strong earnings results.

Asia-Pacific kicked the day off higher but gains were undone as trading progressed. Japan declined 0.26% and the Hang Seng fell 0.69%.

The Australian share market bucked the trend and finished in the black on Thursday with the ASX 200 benchmark index climbing 0.74% to 6,051.1 points.

The MSCI world equity index fell 2.97 points or 0.53%, to 552.5.

Gold prices retreated from all-time highs and settled at US$1,947.4, still near records. Silver dipped almost 3% after a strong rally in recent weeks.

Most oil contracts fell as WTI crude oil tumbled 2.28% to US$40.33, but Brent managed to eke out a small gain.

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