The trading ranges remained quite narrow but the USD index added to yesterday’s losses below 93.00
The US stocks closed lower overnight, with the Dow and S&P shedding about 1% while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.65%, finishing down for the third time in four days. Investors turned more cautious amid the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in renewed restrictions on business activity in several states, including Chicago, Detroit, and California. Yesterday, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said a vaccine was not a panacea to the immediate risks facing the economy, adding to the downbeat tone in the markets.
Asian equities were mostly on the defensive on Friday as market players feared the economic impact of an accelerating rise in coronavirus infections. MSCI’s broadest index of Asian shares outside Japan dipped 0.25%. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.52%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.3%, the Shanghai Composite dipped 0.85% while South Korea’s Kospi bucked the trend and gained 0.73%.
In Europe, stocks opened slightly softer to start the day, with US futures reflecting a positive open as Nasdaq futures were 0.5% and S&P 500 futures edged higher by 0.2%. As of writing, the UK’s FTSE 100 was down 0.53% after the UK reported a new daily record of cases on Thursday. Among the biggest losers were Rolls Royce and Royal Dutch Shell which fell around 2% each.
In currency markets, the trading ranges remained quite narrow but the USD index added to yesterday’s losses below the 93.00 figure ahead of fresh economic data out of the US. October’s producer prices and the preliminary reading of the consumer sentiment for the current month are due later today.
Elsewhere, gold prices are marginally higher after modest gains seen on Thursday. Despite the current bullish bias, the precious metal still lacks the momentum to regain the $1,900 key psychological level after a massive plunge seen at the start of the week. On the downside, the bullion needs to hold above $1,860 to avoid fresh losses.