The ECB could announce a timeline to slow its bond-buying program
Wall Street stocks saw further losses overnight while the yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.33% after rising sharply to 1.37%. On the positive side, U.S. job openings for July rose to a fresh record high of 10.9 million. Still, the S&P 500 fell 0.13%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.20%, and the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.57%.
Asian equities were mostly lower on Thursday following another bearish session on Wall Street. Japan extended its emergency measures to combat COVID-19 outbreaks until the end of September. Meanwhile, ratings agencies say Evergrande Group looks increasingly likely to default on its debts following news reports it will delay interest payments on bank loans. China’s Shanghai Composite managed to erase early losses to finish 0.20% higher. Meanwhile, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.68%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 2.02% and Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 declined 1.88%.
European stocks weakened on Thursday as investors are getting more cautious ahead of a key meeting of the European Central Bank, with policy makers widely expected to announce a timeline to slow its bond-buying program despite uncertainty over economic growth. The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 0.4% in early trade. US stock index futures were also lower in early premarket trade.
In currencies, the dollar has been on the offensive since the beginning of the week. Adding to recent gains, the USD index rose to the 92.70 region on Wednesday, picking up an extra pace on the back of risk aversion. As such, the euro slipped to the 1.1800 area to finish at 1.1815. Today, the pair bounced to the 1.1830 area as dollar demand has eased somehow during the European hours. In general, the greenback remains supported by hawkish comments from the Fed officials.
Meanwhile, oil prices gained despite dollar strength to regain the $72 figure on Wednesday as U.S. Gulf of Mexico producers made slow progress in restoring output after Hurricane Ida. Elsewhere in Libya, protesters were blocking oil exports at major ports, adding to a more upbeat sentiment in the market. Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute said that the US commercial crude stocks declined 2.88 million barrels in the week ended September 3.