Stock Market Latest Updates: Sensex declines 242 points, Nifty slips below 9,200-mark; ONGC, NTPC among major losers
Stock Market Latest Updates: Indices stay in red as Sensex down 218 points, Nifty at 9,205-level; NTPC, ONGC among top losers
New York: Asian stocks were set to come under pressure on Thursday as downbeat economic data pushed investors to safe havens and growing worries about falling demand sent oil prices lower.
Traders continue to be torn between signs that consumers and businesses are emerging from the economic paralysis caused by the coronavirus and the reality that the pandemic continues to choke global demand.
Also in focus are fresh hostilities between Beijing and Washington after US President Donald Trump said he was watching closely whether China would meet its commitments to increase US goods purchases under the Phase 1 trade deal.
E-mini futures for the S&P 500 fell 0.28 percent.
Japan's Nikkei 225 futures fell 0.23 percent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures lost 0.76 percent.
Oil, which had rallied for a week as economies slowly reopened, dropped as much as 4 percent on Wednesday after US crude stockpiles ticked up and diesel inventories swelled, offsetting OPEC-led cuts in production.
Representational image. Reuters
Equities investors are expected on Thursday to face more of the kind of dismal economic data that chilled sentiment on Wednesday and stopped the oil rally.
Chinese trade data is expected to show double-digit percentage declines in exports and imports because of the damage from the pandemic to global demand and manufacturing supply chains.
Analysts at ANZ Bank have warned that Asian equity prices show excessive optimism about corporate performance that could be dashed by first-quarter earnings results.
Markets had been upbeat earlier in the week as governments slowly reopened their economies. But that faded on Wednesday in the face of a chilling euro zone GDP forecast and a report that US private employers laid off a record 20.2 million workers in April.
Wall Street was mostly lower on Wednesday. The S&P 500 index closed 0.7 percent weaker after a late-day selloff. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.51 percent as traders bet on tech and other so-called stay-at-home sectors, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.91 percent.
“Looking across the markets as we close off the US session and hurtle in Asia trade, we see price action has been soggy, and the bears will probably just about take this one,” Chris Weston, Melbourne-based head of research at broker Pepperstone, said in a Thursday note to clients.
In currency trading, safe-havens rose on Wednesday. The yen hit a seven-week high against the dollar and a 3-1/2-peak versus the euro.
Against a basket of peers, the dollar rose for a third session.
“Safe havens are likely to hold the upper hand as many brace for the impact of the late week jobs data,” said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst, at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington.
The US government jobs report due on Friday is expected to show the unemployment rate jumped to 16 percent in April, which would shatter the post-World War Two record of 10.8 percent set November 1982.
A weekly US government jobs report due on Thursday is forecast to show another 3 million people filed claims for unemployment, adding to the 30.3 million claims of the previous few weeks.
The European Commission on Wednesday forecast the euro zone economy would contract by a record 7.7 percent this year, and warned that public debt and budget deficits will balloon on spending to offset the damage from the pandemic.
That undercut optimism, sending the pan-European STOXX 600 index down 0.4 percent.
MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.42 percent on Wednesday.
Longer-dated US Treasury yields jumped to three-week highs on Wednesday after the government sharply increased the size of its long-dated debt auctions to finance its expanding deficit.
Benchmark 10-year note yields jumped as high as 0.743 percent on Wednesday, the most since 15 April.
Gold fell further on Wednesday under the pressure of a stronger dollar and expectations that supplies will grow as bullion refineries resume operations. Spot gold, which had dipped 1.1 percent in the New York afternoon, added 0.1 percent to $1,686.54 an ounce.