Wall Street stocks rallied on Monday despite a further increase in confirmed new coronavirus cases as much healthier-than-expected report on the housing market helped investors to shrug off virus-related concerns. Pending home sales surged 44.3% in May, the largest increase since the series started in 2001. As a result, the S&P 500 gained 1.5%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.2%.
Today in Asia, stocks rose, reflecting some optimism over stronger than expected economic data. Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 1.33%, South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.70%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged up 0.5% and the Shanghai Composite was up nearly 0.8% after the official data showed that manufacturing activity expanded in June with the official Purchasing Manager’s Index coming in at 50.9 versus 50.4 expected.
European stocks opened mixed, signaling some deterioration in investor sentiment following the recent rally, as concerns over the containment of the coronavirus pandemic continued to weigh on investor sentiment. The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 0.4% by mid-morning. In individual stocks, oil giant Shell announced that it will write down the value of its assets by up to $22 billion in the second quarter. The company’s shares fell by 2.2% following the announcement.
Elsewhere, dollar demand picked up on Tuesday, with BGPUSD clinging to one-month lows below the 1.23 handle. The additional selling pressure came from fresh economic data out of the UK. The country’s GDP contracted by 2.2% in the first quarter, marking the biggest quarter-on-quarter fall in 40 years.
Meanwhile, bitcoin price remains below the 50-DMA for nearly a week already, struggling to regain a robust upside momentum following a rejection from local highs around $9,800 on June 23. BTCUSD has settled marginally above the $9,000 handle on Tuesday, showing a mild bearish bias after two days of gains. A break above the $9,200 immediate resistance is needed for a recovery above $9,400.