Wall Street stocks dipped to three-week lows, with Dow plunging over 500 points overnight after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned of a slow economic recovery that may require more fiscal stimulus. Now, more market participants believe the US central bank could announce a new quantitative easing program at its June meeting.
Asian shares followed suit and fell decently on Thursday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 lost 1.74%, South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.8%, Chinese Shanghai Composite was down nearly 1%. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 1.72% lower after the data showed that seasonally adjusted employment in Australia fell by 594,300 people in April as compared to March.
In Europe, stocks opened in red and stay on the defensive following the gloomy outlook from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Geopolitical tensions between the US and China are adding to the negative sentiment as well. The Stoxx Europe 600 is losing nearly 2% on Thursday.
The greenback rose as risk sentiment deteriorated further after Powell’s comments. As a result, EURUSD was rejected from the 1.09 region and slipped back to 1.08. Should risk aversion intensify any time soon, the pair may extend the retreat. In its latest economic bulletin, the ECB noted that the Eurozone GDP could fall between 5% to 12% this year, and survey indicators suggest a sharp contraction in economic growth.
Elsewhere, gold prices preserve a bullish bias for the third day in a row on Thursday. The bullion extended gains to the $1.720 area earlier in the day and remains marginally higher. Still, as the bullish momentum looks unsustainable, there is a risk of a retreat back below the $1,700 psychological level should risk sentiment improve any time soon.
Meanwhile, bitcoin price extends the rally from the 100-DMA for a third consecutive day. BTCUSD has exceeded the $9,400 area and has been challenging the $9,700 handle. A decisive break above this level will clear the way to the $10,000 figure.
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