The dollar is regaining some ground amid a further deterioration in risk sentiment
Wall Street stocks finished mostly higher overnight, with the S&P 500 index halting a two-day decline while gains for tech shares lifted the Nasdaq 100 by 0.4%. The S&P 500 eked out gains of 0.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.02%. On the data front, initial jobless claims filed through the states fell by 19,000 to 793,000 in the seven days ended February 6 versus 760,000 expected.
Asian stocks were lower on Friday, with most regional markets closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slid 0.63% after the state of Victoria imposed a coronavirus lockdown for at least five days. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.14%. Markets in Hong Kong, mainland China, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore were shut for the holiday.
In Europe, equities opened marginally lower as risk mood looks more tepid ahead of a long weekend in the US, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered around the flatline in early trade. Fresh data showed that the U.K. economy contracted 9.9% last year, posting its biggest annual fall since modern records began. In the fourth quarter, the U.K.’s GDP rose 1%. Elsewhere, ING Groep and Boliden posted strong fourth-quarter earnings.
Meanwhile, the dollar is regaining some ground amid a further deterioration in risk sentiment. Against this backdrop, the euro is back on the defensive, targeting the 20-DMA that represents the immediate support. GBPUSD is now below 1.3800, correcting lower from long-term highs registered earlier this week. USDJPY has been rising for the third day in a row on Friday. The pair climbed to the 105.00 handle, a decisive break above which would pave the way for further gains in the short term. As the dollar firms, gold prices turned lower, extending the retreat after failed attempts to regain the 20-DMA.