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Stocks, Oil Fall Further On Virus, U.S. Election Angst

Stocks, Oil Fall Further On Virus, U.S. Election Angst

Stocks across the globe resumed their slide on Friday and oil headed for a doubledigit weekly fall on continued concern over the economic impact of rising global coronavirus infections and ahead of Tuesday's U.S. presidential election.

NEW YORK: Stocks across the globe resumed their slide on Friday and oil headed for a double-digit weekly fall on continued concern over the economic impact of rising global coronavirus infections and ahead of Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election.

This week has seen global coronavirus cases rise by over 500,000 for the first time, with France and Germany preparing fresh lockdowns.

Underwhelming outlooks and results from some of Wall Street’s largest companies including Apple and Facebook further soured the mood and dragged U.S. stocks lower. The S&P 500 was on track for its largest weekly drop since March and its second consecutive monthly decline.

“There is a big sell-off in those big tech names because they didn’t live up to the hype and people are really worried about next week’s election,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.

Ahead of the last campaign weekend, Republican President Donald Trump trails Democratic challenger Joe Biden in national opinion polls, as he has done for months, partly because of widespread disapproval of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus.

Opinion polls in the most competitive states that will decide the election have shown a closer race, still favoring Biden.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 483.01 points, or 1.81%, to 26,176.1, the S&P 500 lost 72.89 points, or 2.20%, to 3,237.22 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 348.90 points, or 3.12%, to 10,836.69.

The S&P was on track to fall over 6% this week and more than 3% in October.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.18% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 1.74%. Emerging market stocks lost 1.59%.

Oil prices fell for the fourth time this week, weighed by demand concerns as COVID-19 cases swelled globally and fresh lockdowns were to start in Europe’s two largest economies.

“Many nations with high oil consumption across the world are seeing infection levels that they didn’t have even during the first wave,” said Paola Rodriguez-Masiu, Rystad Energy’s senior oil markets analyst.

“These infection levels are destined to bite oil demand, as traffic will be curbed to a minimum during the coming lockdowns.”

U.S. crude fell 1.52% to $35.62 per barrel and Brent was at $37.45, down 0.53% on the day. Both were on track to fall over 10% this week alone.

The oil weakness led to a sell-off of some commodity-linked currencies, including the Russian rouble .

The dollar index, measuring the greenback against a basket of peers, was little changed on the day and was on track for only its second weekly gain of over 1% in more than six months as its safe-haven appeal shone this week.

The dollar index rose 0.162%, with the euro down 0.26% to $1.1644.

Societe Generale FX analyst Kit Juckes said that given the recent imposition of a fresh lockdown in France, the positive growth data there – an 18.2% quarter-on-quarter jump – was not enough to outweigh virus concerns.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.02% versus the greenback at 104.64 per dollar, while the British pound was last trading at $1.2956, up 0.23% on the day.

A risk-on revival after the U.S. election could however see the dollar resume its slide from the March highs.

“Our month-end models show a backdrop that would favor a slightly weaker dollar,” said Mazen Issa, senior currency strategist at TD Securities in New York.

Treasury yields ticked up, with benchmark 10-year notes last down 7/32 in price to yield 0.8585%, from 0.836% late on Thursday.

Spot gold added 0.7% to $1,880.11 an ounce. Silver gained 1.26% to $23.57.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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