World stocks struggle near record high amid Covid spike; Europe

World stocks struggle near record high amid Covid spike; Europe

by Saikat Chatterjee

LONDON (Reuters) – Slowing growth in China and a spike in COVID-19 cases in Europe halted the rally of global equity markets on Friday, with stocks struggling to climb to recent record highs and The euro was looking at losses for the second week in a row. ,

While US stocks closed at record highs on Thursday aided by consumer discretionary and tech sectors, optimism in the Asian session faded, with the regional index closing down 1% for the week.

European stock indices rose in early London trading on Friday, although sentiment was more cautious with volatility gauges near two-week highs.

“Markets are consolidating following gains in the dollar and front-end bond yields in recent weeks, and investors will turn their attention to preliminary PMI data next week,” said Kenneth Brooks, FX strategist at Societe Generale in London.

“In the case of the eurozone, rather than inflation, we’re going to focus a little bit more on whether the new COVID restrictions are already having an impact on services activity.”

High-frequency data in recent weeks showed economic activity is struggling as inflation picks up, although the slowdown in economic activity in Europe is greater than in the United States, which saw a rise in COVID-19 cases Is.

Europe has again become the epicenter of the pandemic, which has prompted some countries including Germany and Austria to reimpose restrictions for Christmas and sparked debate over whether vaccines alone can control COVID-19. enough to do.

Capital Economics said daily new cases as a share of the population are now higher than in the United States, with the UK rising faster, and closer to the number.

MSCI’s broadest gauge of world stocks was up less than 0.5% from a record high hit earlier this month, though Asia-Pacific shares are set for a weekly decline of 1%.

Hong Kong shares fell more than 1% after shares of the Chinese e-commerce firm were pulled down by index heavyweight Alibaba as its second-quarter results slowed consumption, rising competition and a regulatory oversight. Missed expectations due to rift.

Alibaba’s figures came in the wake of a recent sharp slowdown in Chinese retail data, raising concerns over a broader slowdown in the recovery of the world’s second-largest economy.

Sentiment in currency markets was a downbeat, with the dollar being longer than its major rivals, up 0.3% on the day, while the euro was near a six-year low versus the Swiss franc.

The single currency has been on the receiving end this week, after policymakers hammered market expectations the European Central Bank would raise interest rates to tame rising inflation. The euro is down more than 1% against the US dollar this week, marking its second consecutive weekly decline.

The US benchmark Treasury yield was steady below the 1.60% level and investors were waiting for news on the Federal Reserve’s next major announcement in the coming days. [US/]

The Turkish lira slid close to Thursday’s record low. The lira weakened nearly 6% under pressure from central bank President Tayyip Erdogan, cutting rates again to take the benchmark to 15%, while inflation closed at 20%.

His recent volatility in oil prices continued. US crude rose 0.96% to $79.77 a barrel. Brent crude rose 0.97% to $82.03 a barrel. [O/R]

Elsewhere, bitcoin is heading for its worst week in six months – down 20% from its recent record high. Despite crypto miners raising funds and keeping an eye on public listings.

(Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee)

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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