Wall Street stocks dipped overnight after Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US’s leading infectious-disease specialist cautioned against reopening the US economy too soon. After opening in the green, the S&P 500 fell 2.1%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 1.9%, while the Nasdaq composite lost 2.1%.
In Asia, stocks were mixed on Wednesday as caution remained over a second wave of coronavirus cases in some countries as they start to reopen their economies. China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.22%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was largely flat. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.49%, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia added 0.35% while the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index rose 0.34%.
European stock markets declined after the worst finish on Wall Street in nearly two weeks. The Stoxx Europe 600 index and the German DAX 30 both fell over 1.0%. The FTSE 100 index slipped 0.7% after the U.K. economy contracted 2% in the first quarter.
In currencies, major pairs are little changed today. EURUSD remains around 1.0850 after failed attempts to rise to 1.09 on Tuesday. The current consolidation is in part due to a cautious tone by investors that are preparing for Jerome Powell’s comments due later in the day. The Federal Reserve Governor may approve the idea of negative interest rates. If so, the greenback will fall across the board, suggesting the euro will exceed the 1.09 figure by the end of the day.
Elsewhere, oil prices have settled below the $30, struggling to stage a sustainable recovery as new coronavirus outbreaks have been reported in South Korea and in China. Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute reported that US crude inventories rose by 7.6 million barrels last week against expectations for an increase of 4.1 million barrels. Official storage data from the US Energy Information Administration is due later today.