Stock Rally Pauses as European Cyclicals Retreat: Markets Wrap

This content was published on November 26, 2020 – 18:42

(Bloomberg) — The rally in global risk assets lost steam as the spreading pandemic tempered gains in European stocks and U.S. equity futures. Bitcoin tumbled as much as 14%.

Cyclical companies including banks and energy firms that had led the post-vaccine surge retreated while more defensive tech shares gained, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index flat. That was mirrored by equity futures in the U.S., where contracts on the main gauge fell while those on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 were little changed.

Even with three successful vaccines on the table, sentiment turned cautious Thursday as the virus toll continued to rise in Europe and the U.S., leading German Chancellor to call on Europe’s ski resorts to close this winter. AstraZeneca Plc is likely to conduct a further global trial of its vaccine after current studies raised questions, CEO Pascal Soriot said in an interview. The task of vaccinating the world’s population is rife with logistical problems, all while the virus gains ground and economic recoveries wobble.

“Question marks still surround the speed of a global roll-out and the proportion of populations willing to be vaccinated,” Geir Lode, head of global equities at the international business of Federated Hermes, wrote in a note to clients. “These factors, combined with a second consecutive week of rising jobless claims in the U.S, appear to have brought the rotation into value and back-to-work stocks grinding to a halt for now.”

Meanwhile, Treasury futures edged higher with the cash market closed for Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. A deluge of data on Wednesday brought the first back-to-back rise in weekly U.S. jobless claims since July and a widening trade deficit.

Investors took some solace from the minutes out of the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting, which showed the central bank discussed at the Nov. 4-5 meeting providing more guidance on its bond-buying strategy “fairly soon” but didn’t see a need for immediate adjustments.

West Texas Intermediate crude fell below $45 a barrel. In cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum plunged following their recent surge.

Here are some key events coming up:

  • U.S. celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. The stock market closes at 1 p.m. on Friday.
  • The week ends with Black Friday, the traditional start of the U.S. holiday shopping season.

Here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.1%.
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.7%.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index rose 0.9%.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.1% as of 1:37 p.m. New York time.
  • The euro was little changed.
  • The British pound slid 0.2% to $1.335.
  • The onshore yuan was unchanged at 6.5657 per dollar.
  • The Japanese yen strengthened 0.2% to 104.25 per dollar.

Bonds

  • Germany’s 10-year yield fell two basis points to -0.59%.
  • Japan’s 10-year yield gained 0.5 basis point to 0.019%.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield declined 3.7 basis points to 0.278%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude decreased 1.8% to $44.90 a barrel.
  • Brent crude decreased 1.7% to $47.8 a barrel.
  • Gold strengthened 0.2% to $1,810.35 an ounce.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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