Asian stocks failed to follow suit and were mostly lower on Wednesday
The US retail sales soared 1.7% in October, the largest gain since March and above the 1.4% estimate, the official report showed on Tuesday. Other data showed U.S. manufacturing output surged to a two-and-a-half-year high last month. Meanwhile, Home Depot beat quarterly sales estimates to jump nearly 6% overnight, its biggest one-day percentage gain since April 2020. Against this backdrop, Wall Street indexes advanced overnight, with the S&P 500 and Dow gaining 0.39% and 0.15%, respectively, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 0.76%.
However, Asian stocks failed to follow suit and were mostly lower on Wednesday as the coronavirus-related concerns resurfaced. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped nearly 0.5%, coming off a three-week high seen a day earlier. The Hang Seng index shed in Hong Kong fell 0.25% while Kospi shed over 1% on the news that South Korea today reported 3,187 new cases of the coronavirus, nearly matching a one-day record set in September.
In Europe, equities opened little changed on Wednesday, mirroring the lack of enthusiasm seen in US stock index futures. The UK’s FTSE 100 is leading the losses, shedding 0.3% in early trade while the sterling jumped to one-week highs after the report showed the UK inflation soared to 10-year highs in October, rising odds of a rate hike by the Bank of England in December. The UK consumer price index surged in October to 4.2% year-over-year, having exceeded both the previous estimate and the expected result.
In currencies, the dollar remains elevated after another boost received from the US retail sales yesterday. The EURUSD pair dipped to fresh mid-2020 lows around 1.1265 earlier in the day before trimming losses in recent trading. The euro was last seen flirting with the 1.1300 figure, staying just slightly off long-term lows, with downside risks persisting in the short term despite the oversold conditions.