(Bloomberg) — Global stocks retreated as worries about a delay to U.S. economic stimulus, the impact about surging virus cases across Europe and the possibility of American election interference weighed on market sentiment.
U.S. futures pared losses and Treasuries steadied as investors also considered earnings data. Tesla Inc. climbed in pre-market trading after the electric carbeating analysts’ estimates.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.5% to the lowest level since Oct. 2. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.5%. The dollar was little changed, while gold declined. Copper slipped after topping $7,000 a ton for the first time in more than two years.
“There is increasingly a recognition that no fiscal package agreement ahead of the election is likely,” said James McCormick, global head of desk strategy at NatWest Markets. “The Covid-19 resurgence is certainly a background issue for risk assets, but the fiscal debate in the U.S. has been the main short-term question.”
U.S. shares closed lower on Wednesday after a volatile session amid signs that a stimulus package is unlikely to become law before the election. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made progress in their latest talks and will speak again Thursday even as the odds remained long for a deal that could pass in the Senate.
Worries about the U.S. presidential election also added to the risk-off mood in markets. On Wednesday night, John Ratcliffe, the U.S. director of national intelligence, said both Iran and Russia had obtained voter registration information and that Tehran was already using it to send threatening emails.
With no meaningful progress on fiscal policy, markets “are reacting to the heightened political instability that comes with the confirmation of efforts to manipulate the presidential race,” said Eleanor Creagh, Sydney-based strategist at Saxo Capital Markets. “The ability for either candidate to seize upon accusations of foreign interference is heightened and raises the probability of a contested outcome, particularly as the race could be closer than polls currently indicate.”
Around the world, there is also increasing evidence that the pandemic is worsening. German infections have jumped to a record and Spain’s heath minister said the spread of coronavirus is out of control in certain parts of the country. U.S. hospitalizations for Covid-19 have reached a two-month high.
Here are some key events coming up:
The final presidential debate before the U.S. election, between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, will be live from Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday.U.S. jobless claims come Thursday.
These are some of the main market moves:
Futures on the S&P 500 Index declined 0.2% as of 9:56 a.m. London time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.5%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index decreased 0.5%.The MSCI Emerging Market Index dipped 0.2%.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1% to 1,160.49.The euro declined 0.1% to $1.1844.The British pound decreased 0.3% to $1.3111.The Japanese yen weakened 0.1% to 104.66 per dollar.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 0.81%.The yield on two-year Treasuries increased less than one basis point to 0.15%.Germany’s 10-year yield gained one basis point to -0.58%.Britain’s 10-year yield climbed three basis points to 0.267%.
West Texas Intermediate crude gained 0.6% to $40.26 a barrel.Gold weakened 0.4% to $1,916.96 an ounce.
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