Wall Street stocks mostly fell overnight, ending a three-day S&P 500 winning streak amid another spike in confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, fueling concerns over a potential second wave. However, there was a bright spot on the data front. In particular, mortgage applications in the United States jumped 4% last week and were up 21% from the year-ago period. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell revealed plans to slowly shift the central bank’s corporate-credit purchases from exchange-traded funds to individual bonds. As a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.6%, the S&P 500 lost 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.1%.
Today in Asia, stocks retreated due to the lingering coronavirus concerns amid rising coronavirus cases in China, denting hopes of a quick global economic recovery from the pandemic. Rising tensions between China and India added to the downbeat sentiment in the regional markets. In Australia, S&P/ASX 200 lost nearly 1% after the government report showed that the unemployment rate exceeded 7% while 228,000 jobs were lost for a total of 835,000 jobs lost in two months. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.44% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 0.3%, while China’s Shanghai Composite index was 0.11% higher on the day.
European equities edged lower early on Thursday as investors remained cautious amid the above-mentioned developments and ahead of the Bank of England monetary policy decision. The Stoxx Europe 600 slipped 0.32% following two days of gains. However, some stocks turned positive after a negative start of the day, with German DAX 30 gaining 0.69% and the French CAC 40 adding 0.24%. Later today, the Bank of England could announce at least £100 million more in quantitative easing.
Meanwhile, the greenback is mixed today, with major currency pairs little changed ahead of the upcoming events. EURUSD is oscillating around 1.1250, struggling for direction after failed attempts to break above the 1.13 barrier. GBPUSD is edging lower as traders are adjusting their positions ahead of the Bank of England decision. The pair is on the verge of losing the 1.25 support, a break below which will send the prices to the 50-DMA around 1.2425.