European investors continue to monitor prospects of a last-minute Brexit trade deal
Wall Street stocks closed mostly higher on Thursday despite coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations reached record highs. Also on the negative side, Pfizer said it would need to cut its potential vaccine distribution plans this year due to supply chain issues. On the data front, 712,000 Americans filed for jobless claims last week, down from 787,000, the Markit Composite PMI increased to 58.6 in November from 56.3, while the ISM non-manufacturing PMI decreased to 55.9 in November from 56.6. As a result, the S&P 500 slipped 0.06%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.28%, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.22%. Later today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the November jobs report that could affect investor sentiment ahead of the weekend.
Asian stocks were mixed-to-higher on Friday as investors continue to digest the news that Pfizer cut the number of doses of a planned coronavirus vaccine it might ship this year. On the other hand, market players have been encouraged by signs that Democrats and Republicans in Washington may reach a deal to provide more financial support for the economy. Meanwhile, the optimism was capped by the reports that the Pentagon added more Chinese firms to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies. As such, the Shanghai Composite Index closed just 0.07% higher, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo sank 0.21%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.4% while the Kospi in Seoul rose by 1.6%.
In Europe, equities opened little changed, struggling for direction following mixed trading in Asia. Regional investors continue to monitor prospects of a last-minute Brexit trade deal. According to the latest reports, Britain is accusing France of making new demands at the last second, which diminishes the chances of a deal being agreed by the end of the week.
Meanwhile, the dollar has steadied somehow on Friday ahead of the US NFP employment data due later today. If the numbers come in lower-than-expected, the selling pressure surrounding the greenback could intensify by the end of the trading week. If so, EURUSD may challenge fresh long-term highs around the 1.2200 handle.