Global stocks flat as US virus concerns offset Europe rebound hopes

There were almost 40,000 new Covid-19 cases in the US on Thursday

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock

 

Global equities were flat and perceived safe-haven assets like US Treasuries and gold gained on Friday as investors weighed hopes that Europe will continue to rebound from the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic against concerns about a record number of new Covid-19 infections in the United States.

The euro zone is “probably past” the worst of the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde said, while urging authorities to prepare for a possible second wave.

There was a rise of at least 39,818 coronavirus cases across the United States on Thursday, the largest one-day increase yet. The governor of Texas temporarily halted the state’s reopening on Thursday as infections and hospitalizations surged.

“Even though we continue to see some pretty scary virus numbers coming out of the US, it’s not really dented sentiment - not to any sustained degree at least,” said Timothy Graf, head of macro strategy for EMEA at State Street Global Markets.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.05 per cent following broad gains in Europe and Asia. The index is up approximately 40 per cent since its March lows.

In morning trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.88 per cent, the S&P 500 lost 0.57 per cent, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.39 per cent.

The euro gained versus the US dollar and is on track for its biggest weekly rise in three weeks after the ECB reaffirmed its dovish stance in the minutes of its policy meeting. – Reuters