The World Health Organization warned of a very serious situation arising in Europe as cases rise significantly
US stocks finished lower on Thursday but came off lows registered during the session, as investors digested poor economic data, with both jobless claims and construction sector figures came in worse than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.4% lower, the S&P 500 index fell 0.8%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index retreated 1.3%.
Asian stocks were mostly higher but gains were limited on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 inched up 0.05% after the data showed that the core consumer price index fell 0.4% in August year-on-year. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.21%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged down 0.11% while China’s Shanghai Composite rallied over 2%.
In Europe, equities are mostly lower on Friday amid surging coronavirus cases in the continent, with cases having now passed 30 million worldwide. Furthermore, the World Health Organization warned of a very serious situation arising in Europe as cases rise significantly. As for the data, the UK retail sales rose by 0.8% in August, slightly outpacing average economist expectations. FTSE 100 is trading nearly 0.5% lower while France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX 30 are losing 0.47% and 0.05%, respectively.
Meanwhile, the dollar remains on the defensive after a short-lived bounce in the aftermath of the Federal Reserve meeting. EURUSD has settled around the 20-DMA, refraining from challenging the 1.19 handle. The current dynamics in the pair looks neutral, with downside risks persisting as long as the euro remains below the mentioned barrier.
In the oil market, Brent crude extended the rally to $43.80 and retreated partially in recent trading. The latest ascent in oil futures was due to the news that Saudi Arabia gave non-compliant members of the deal until December to make up for any overproduction. Meanwhile, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said he was expecting global oil demand to recover in Q2 next year. Considering a strong three-day rally, Brent could be at risk of a downside correction in the short term as traders may proceed to profit-taking ahead of the weekend.