Investors express worries about risks of renewed U.S.-China tension
Wall Street indexes were mostly lower overnight, retreating from records set just the previous day, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 0.5% and 0.7%, respectively. Bucking the trend, the tech-heavy Nasdaq finished barely in the green with Alphabet and Amazon rallying. McDonald’s reported a rise in its quarterly sales in the United States due to higher prices. The company’s shares jumped nearly 6.5% following the release.
Asian markets were on the defensive on Thursday as investors expressed worries about risks of renewed U.S.-China tension, with fresh COVID-19 outbreaks adding to a more cautious tone in the regional markets. In South Korea, Samsung’s profit exceeded estimates in the third quarter. The company’s stocks finished 0.9% higher following the report. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell nearly 1% after the Bank of Japan left its monetary policy settings unchanged, as expected. In Europe, equities opened mixed as investors await the European Central Bank’s meeting and the US GDP data due later in the day.
Meanwhile, the dollar has been mixed, mostly advancing versus risk-sensitive counterparts while easing slightly versus the safe-haven Japanese yen. In general, the greenback is buoyed by the rebound in the US Treasury yields. Following a strong rejection from the 1.1670 area on Monday, EURUSD has been struggling to regain the upside bias these days, flirting with the 20-DMA and the 1.1600 figure.
In other markets, Brent crude oil futures fell sharply on Wednesday as the U.S. Energy Information Administration said crude oil inventories rose by 4.3 million barrels last week, more than the expected 1.9 million-barrel gain. Also, the futures were pressured by the reports that after Iran and the European Union agreed to restart negotiations on a revival of the nuclear accord before the end of next month. Brent crude extended losses to $81.60 early on Thursday before erasing losses to settle around $83.