US markets, down for two days, were misguided in pre-session trading (Photo: 123RF)
The short-term evolution of the epidemic in the United States and concerns about the European stimulus plan obscuring the outlook for the medium term.
The American markets, in decline for two days, were poorly oriented in the pre-meeting discussions, while the consequences of the resumption of the Covid-19 epidemic are being felt more and more across the Atlantic.
The Dow Jones futures contract fell 0.23% to 29,324 points, that of the S&P 500 by 0.14% to 3,560 points and that of the Nasdaq technology index by 0.25% to 11,867 points.
In Europe too, the stock markets were moving in the red. The CAC 40 index lost 0.68% to 5,474 points. The trend was similar for the other European places: London lost 0.72% to 6339 points, and Frankfurt 0.89% to 13,083 points.
New York City closed its schools on Thursday, while warning that further restrictions were being considered.
“Investor sentiment is now weighed down by the tightening of restrictions, which counterbalances progress on the development of candidate vaccines,” summarizes Pierre Veyret, technical analyst for Active Trade.
The economic consequences of health restrictions “lead to irremediable losses of activity for certain sectors with many jobs permanently destroyed”, recalled in a press conference Benoit Peloille, strategist of Vega IM.
The Tokyo and Hong Kong stock exchanges closed lower on Thursday, reflecting concerns over the coronavirus surge around the world and profit-taking after recent gains, while Shanghai ended higher.
In Tokyo, the flagship Nikkei index, which had already lost more than 1% the day before, fell again 0.36% to finish at 25,634 points. On the contrary, the extended Topix index gained 0.33% to 1,726 points.
Japan recorded more than 2,200 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, a national record. And Tokyo surpassed 530 new cases on Thursday, again a record. The Japanese Prime Minister spoke of a “situation of maximum alert” in the country, but without announcing any restrictions.
The measures taken in Japan since the start of the pandemic have never been compulsory. Also the impact on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was “limited”, observed Shinichi Yamamoto, broker at Okasan Securities interviewed by AFP.
In Hong Kong, where just like in the Japanese capital, profit taking also weighed on the market, the Hang Seng index lost 0.71% to 26,357 points.
The Shanghai Composite Index, on the other hand, rose 0.47% to 3,363 points and that of Shenzhen rose 0.63% to 2,276 points.
On the oil side
The oil market was moving in the red: around 07:25 the price of a barrel of American crude lost 0.72% to 41.52 dollars and that of a barrel of London Brent 0.25% to 44.23 dollars.