US stocks finished mixed-to-negative on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 closing lower after a record-setting drop in U.S. economic activity. US gross domestic product plunged by a record 32.9% in the second quarter. Despite the number was not as bad as feared, the sentiment in the market deteriorated following the release. As a result, the Dow slid 0.8%, the S&P 500 dipped 0.4%, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4% as tech giants including Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook all presented better-than-expected quarterly results.
Today in Asia, stocks were mostly lower as investors digested dismal economic data out of the United States. Rising global COVID-19 cases darkened the mood as well. On the positive side, strong U.S. tech earnings and manufacturing recoveries in China and Japan helped to ease the selling pressure surrounding high-yielding assets. Japan’s Nikkei 225 tumbled 2.8% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined by nearly 0.5%. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.7% while South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.77%, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 2.03%.
European stock markets opened higher on Friday as market sentiment is improving gradually after yesterday’s volatility. Investors have largely ignored the fact that France and Spain posted record economic contractions in the second quarter amid the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, Italy’s Q2 preliminary GDP came in at -12.4% versus -15.5% q/q expected. Elsewhere, China said in a recent statement that it won’t interfere in the stock market to stabilize expectations.
Meanwhile, the dollar remains under severe selling pressure. The US currency extended losses after a dismal economic report out of the US, with EURUSD rising above the 1.19 handle as a result. After a jump earlier in the day, the euro has retreated to the 1.1860 area and could turn negative on the day if profit0taking continues ahead of the weekend.
In other markets, gold prices resumed the ascent and rallied to fresh all-time highs around $1,983. The precious metal took a pause yesterday and retreated despite risk aversion. In a wider picture, the key target for bulls arrives at around $2,000.