Stocks pause on lasting coronavirus impact worries


Dollar advance pauses

US stock market rally paused on Thursday against the background of increase in coronavirus infection cases outside China. The S&P 500 lost 0.38% to 3373.23. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 0.44% to 29423.3. Nasdaq composite index fell 0.7% to 9750.96. The dollar strengthening accelerated as Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index jumped to two-year high in February while the number of people applying for first time jobless benefits rose last week: live dollar index data show the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, rose 0.3% to 99.86 but is lower currently. Futures on stock indexes point to lower openings today.

DAX 30 led European indexes retreat

European stocks pulled back on Thursday. EUR/USD reversed climbing while the GBP/USD continued sliding yesterday with both pairs lower currently. The Stoxx Europe 600 index lost 0.6% led by insurance shares. Germany’s DAX 30 fell 0.9% to 13664. France’s CAC 40 slumped 0.8% while UK’s FTSE 100 slid 0.3% to 7436.64 despite report retail sales rose 0.9% on the month after a 0.5% fall in December.

DE30 falling toward MA(50) 2/21/2020 Market Overview IFC Markets chart

Hang Seng leads Asian indexes losses

Asian stock indices are mostly lower today after news of rise in new virus cases in South Korea. Nikkei ended down 0.4% at 23386.74 with yen advance against dollar resuming. Markets in China are mixed after reports of a rise in new cases in Beijing: the Shanghai Composite Index is up 0.3% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is 1.2% lower. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index slid 0.3% despite continuing Australian dollar decline against the greenback.

Brent pulls back

Brent futures prices are edging lower today. Prices ended higher yesterday after a smaller than expected weekly increase in US crude supplies. The Energy Information Administration reported US oil inventories rose 0.4 million barrels last week when the American Petroleum Institute on Wednesday reported a climb of 4.2 million barrels. April Brent crude rose 0.3% to $59.31 a barrel on Thursday.

Gold rise intact

Gold prices are extending gains today. Prices rose yesterday: April gold added 0.5% to $1620.50 an ounce on Thursday.

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