Wall Street stocks finished lower on Thursday, erasing decent gains from the previous session after President Donald Trump said he would be giving a news conference on Friday regarding China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6%, the S&P 500 slid 0.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.5%. Before Trump announced a conference, China’s National People’s Congress approved a national security bill for Hong Kong that is criticized by the United States and some other countries.
On the data front, another 2.1 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week versus 2.05 million expected. According to the second estimate, U.S. economic activity contracted at an annual rate of 5.0% in the first quarter, 0.2% lower than the advanced estimate.
Today in Asia, stocks followed suit and were mostly lower during the session amid rising U.S.-China tensions and ahead of Trump’s news conference. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.18%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng weakened by 0.74% while China’s Shanghai Composite went against the trend and gained 0.22%.
European stock markets opened lower on Friday as escalating tensions between the U.S. and China dashed optimism over the reopening of economies across the globe. The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell over 1% in early trade. According to the latest reports, Germany stressed that dialogue is key to influence China on the Hong Kong issue.
Meanwhile, the dollar came under decent selling pressure after weak economic data out of the Uniteв States and also in anticipation of Trump’s comments on the Hong Kong issue and trade relations with China. EURUSD extended the rally and exceeded the 1.11 barrier, having registered late-March highs around 1.1140. once above this level, the common currency will reach mid-March highs marginally below the 1.12 handle.
Elsewhere, bitcoin registered decent gains yesterday and extended the recovery on Friday. BTCUSD reached a local resistance of $9,600 in recent trading and retreated to the flat-line on the daily charts. As the technical picture has improved after a rebound above the $9,000 handle, the leading cryptocurrency may target the $10,000 key barrier again.
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