The flash reading of the IHS Markit Eurozone composite PMI rose to a nine-month high
Wall Street stocks ended lower overnight following a report that President Joe Biden will propose raising taxes on wealthy investors. The tax plan would raise the capital gains tax to 39.6% for investors who make more than $1 million. On the positive side, the Labor Department reported the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell again last week to its lowest level since the pandemic began. As such, the S&P 500 declined 0.92% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite shed 0.94% each.
In Asia, investors shrugged off of Biden’s tax plan announcement to finish broadly higher on Friday. However, Japan’s Nikkei 225 bucked the trend, losing 0.57% amid the reports that the government will declare states of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka, and two other prefectures later today. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.26%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 1.12%. The Kospi in Seoul added 0.27% while Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 finished just 0.08% higher.
European stocks opened lower today, mirroring yesterday’s decline on Wall Street. On the data front, the flash reading of the IHS Markit Eurozone composite PMI rose to a nine-month high of 53.7 in April from 53.2 in March. The services PMI index rose to 50.3 from 49.6, an eight-month high. Despite the upbeat figures, the pan-European STOXX 600 slipped 0.2% in early trading.
Meanwhile, the dollar is back under pressure following short-lived rally witnesses on Thursday. EURUSD briefly dipped below 1.2000 to reverse losses and climb back to the 100-DMA in recent trading. However, it looks like the common currency still lacks momentum to overcome this barrier that arrives around 1.2050 even as US 10-year Treasury yields have stabilized around 1.55%, pushing the greenback lower.