The Eurozone flash composite PMI fell to 51.6 from July’s 54.9
US equities climbed on Thursday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq registering another all-time high amid a strong rally in tech stocks that helped to offset a surprise jump in weekly jobless claims. The Labor Department said new US weekly jobless claims totaled 1.1 million last week, above the consensus economist estimate of 920,000. In individual stocks, Tesla shares rose above the $2,000 handle for the first time as investors continued to buy shares ahead of share split. Apple stocks gained over 2% a day after it became the first US-listed company to reach a $2 trillion market capitalization.
Asian stocks followed suit and were mostly higher on Friday, lifted by the renewed vaccine hopes after reports that Pfizer’s vaccine is on track to seek October regulatory review. Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.17%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.3%, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.5%. Meanwhile, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.14%, bucking the trend.
In Europe, equities opened modestly higher on coronavirus hopes. However, mixed-to-negative economic data capped investor optimism. The Eurozone flash composite PMI fell to 51.6 from July’s 54.9, considerably below analyst expectations. Also, investors keep a cautious tone amid the lingering uncertainty over the trade negotiations that are reported to be resumed in the coming days.
As for other markets, EURUSD turned negative on the day following failed bullish attempts seen earlier in the day. The euro was disappointed by weak PMIs out of the European countries as the data pointed to a still sluggish and vulnerable economic recovery. Now, as the pair is threatening the 1.18 handle, further losses could be ahead, especially if the US PMIs surprise to the upside.
Elsewhere, bitcoin price has settled just below the $11,900 area that has been capping its bullish attempts since yesterday. BTCUSD climbed marginally on Thursday after a bounce from the $11,500 intermediate support earlier this week. On the upside, the $12,000 handle remains in market focus, and the longer the prices stay below this level, the higher the downside risks are becoming.