Global Stocks Fall as Oil Dips Below $20

Today’s Stock Market News { Monday – 30 March – 2020 }

In Monday-afternoon trading in Hong Kong, S&P 500 futures rose about 1%, reversing earlier declines and suggesting that U.S. shares could rise at the start of the week. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note, a security that is seen as a haven, fell to 0.678%, according to Tradeweb, from 0.744% Friday. Yields move in the opposite direction of prices.

European equities wavered between small gains and losses, as gains for shares in chemical manufacturers and telecommunication firms offset losses for shares in banks and energy producers. The broad Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.1%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225, which logged its best week in its history last week, pulled back more than 1.5% as the yen strengthened slightly to 107.75 to the dollar. SoftBank Group, a major index constituent, pared some of its recent gains to fall more than 6% after a satellite venture it had backed, OneWeb Global, filed for bankruptcy.

Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 soared 7%, with gains intensifying late in the session after the government unveiled a 130 billion Australian dollars ($80.1 billion) wage-subsidy program.

Monetary authorities in the region also took further steps to shore up markets and economies. China’s central bank cut an interbank interest rate, while its counterpart in New Zealand said it would start buying corporate bonds to help companies stay afloat. Singapore, which uses foreign-exchange rates rather than borrowing costs as its main policy tool, also eased policy.

South Korea’s Kospi Composite added 0.2% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China fell less than 1%.

Monday’s moves followed a Friday pullback in U.S. stocks, which came after three days of solid gains. “We’ve had the rally, and now we might have a bit more of the reality,” said Sean Taylor, chief investment officer for Asia-Pacific at asset manager DWS.

The White House on Sunday extended its social-distancing guidelines for an additional 30 days, through the end of April. President Trump said the peak of the death rate from the new coronavirus was expected to hit in two weeks, predicting the U.S. would be on its way to recovery by June 1. Coronavirus cases world-wide have topped 718,000, with more than 33,000 deaths.

Mr. Taylor at DWS said the U.S. move to extend social distancing reflected how the focus of the pandemic had shifted from China to the U.S. and Europe, with public-health measures bringing economic activity to a near standstill and reducing global demand.

Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, pulled back more than 3.5% to $26.97 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the main U.S. crude gauge, fell below $20 a barrel at one point, before recovering slightly to stand 3.3% lower at $20.81 a barrel. WTI had hit an 18-year settling low of $20.37 earlier this month.

Crude prices have plunged on worries about reduced demand and a price war among major oil producers.

U.S. stocks last week posted their biggest weekly gain since 1938 after a roller-coaster ride, with the Dow surging 13% and the S&P 500 climbing 10%. But both indexes sold off on Friday and remain down more than 20% in 2020. Lawmakers in the U.S. agreed to the largest economic-relief package in U.S. history in response to the coronavirus pandemic.


One thought on “Global Stocks Fall as Oil Dips Below $20

  1. Pingback: Global Stocks Fall as Oil Dips Below $20 via /r/economy | Chet Wang

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