Coronavirus outbreaks cast a shadow over prospects for a rebound from the pandemic
Wall Street stocks finished lower overnight for the second session in a row despite upbeat corporate earnings reports for the first quarter, as investors expressed concerns about rising coronavirus cases globally. Of note, the World Health Organization warned that global coronavirus infections were edging toward their highest level in the pandemic. As such, the S&P 500 shed 0.68%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.75%, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq slid 0.92%.
Today in Asia, equities were broadly lower, with the Shanghai Composite in China bucking the trend to end unchanged. Coronavirus outbreaks in the region have cast a shadow over prospects for a rebound from the pandemic, weighing on investor sentiment. MSCI’s index of global shares fell 0.3%. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gave up 2.03 % while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 1.76%. In Seoul, the Kospi lost 1.52%.
European stocks opened higher on Wednesday, recovering after their worst selloff this year. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.6% in early trading. On the data front, the UK CPI came in at +0.7% in March when compared to +0.4% booked in February while missing expectations of a +0.8% print. The monthly figures showed that the UK consumer prices arrived at +0.3%, in line with expectations.
Meanwhile, the dollar looks steadier amid mixed risk sentiment. EURUSD was rejected from fresh peaks around 1.2080 on Tuesday to settle below the 10-0-DMA today. The pair is now threatening the 1.2000 figure, a break below which would pave the way towards the 1.1970 next support zone. Traders will likely keep a cautious tone ahead of the ECB meeting due on Thursday. The central bank is expected to leave rates unchanged while Lagarde’s press conference will be in market focus.