Global stocks mixed on contagions increase, economic data
BEIJING (AP) — World markets were mixed on Friday as investors weighed a rise in coronavirus cases in the United States against upbeat economic data in Europe.
Wall Street futures were down slightly and Asian markets closed lower. European shares, however, edged up after official figures showed industrial production bounced back sharply in some countries.
Manufacturing jumped 22% month-on-month in France in May, making up for the previous month's fall. In Italy industrial production spiked 42% during the same month.
The CAC 40 in France added 0.4% to 4,938, while Frankfurt’s DAX gained 0.5% to 12,548. The FTSE 100 in London gained 0.5% to 6,079.
Beyond Europe, investors appeared more cautious, with futures for the benchmark S&P 500 and for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were both down 0.5%.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.9% to 3,383.32 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo shed 1.1% to 22,290.81. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong retreated 1.8% to 25,727.41.
The Kospi in Seoul lost 0.8% to 2,140.25 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 declined 0.6% at 5,919.20. India’s Sensex lost 0.3% to 36,625.60. New Zealand, Jakarta and Bangkok retreated, while Singapore markets were closed.
“The market is concerned about the uptick in cases globally,” said Stephen Innes of AxiCorp. in a report. “Money is funneling into perceived safe areas of the market like tech, which should hold up broader indexes to a degree.”
U.S. government data showed 1.3 million workers filed for unemployment claims last week. That is down from 1.4 million the prior week and a peak of nearly 6.9 million in late March.
The improvements have helped validate investors’ optimism that the economy can recover as anti-virus controls are relaxed. That helped the S&P 500 rebound to within 7% of its record, after being down nearly 34%.
But economists point to a troubling slowdown in the pace of such changes, including moderating declines in the four-week average of jobless claims.
Investors are worried that worsening infection levels in the populous U.S. states of Florida, Texas and California could derail a recovery. Some states are rolling back their reopenings, while others are ordering people arriving from hotspots to quarantine.
Other countries including Brazil and South Africa also report rising case totals. Australia’s populous state of Victoria closed its border with neighboring New South Wales this week to contain an outbreak.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 58 cents to $39.04 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, declined 51 cents to $41.84 per barrel in London.
The dollar declined to 106.88 yen from Thursday’s 107.95. The euro was down slightly at $1.1280 from $1.1287.