Global stocks little changed

Updated 11 Aug 2020

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On Wall Street, the Dow industrials touched a 5-month high but the Nasdaq fell as much as 1.5 per cent after hitting a record high last week. — Reuters/File
On Wall Street, the Dow industrials touched a 5-month high but the Nasdaq fell as much as 1.5 per cent after hitting a record high last week. — Reuters/File

NEW YORK: Stocks across the globe were little changed on Monday as upbeat industrial data out of China and hopes for more stimulus in the United States were offset by jitters over tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Technology stocks fell after a run of recent gains, while crude oil prices jumped.

Industrial output in China is returning to levels before the coronavirus pandemic halted huge swathes of the economy, driven by pent-up demand, government stimulus and surprisingly resilient exports.

On Wall Street, the Dow industrials touched a 5-month high but the Nasdaq fell as much as 1.5 per cent after hitting a record high last week.

Tension between the United States and China ahead of scheduled trade talks at the weekend to review an agreement signed in January was being blamed for the lack of clarity in the market’s direction.

Talks in Washington over a US fiscal stimulus package caused further uncertainty for investors. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday said they were open to resuming negotiations on aid for stricken businesses and workers.

President Donald Trump has sought to take matters into his own hands, signing executive orders and memorandums aimed, among other things, at unemployment benefits, although they were smaller than the package that had been in place for weeks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 277.86 points, or 1.01pc, to 27,711.34, the S&P 500 gained 6.31 points, or 0.19pc, to 3,357.59 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 42.36 points, or 0.38pc, to 10,968.62.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.30pc and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.08pc.

Emerging market stocks lost 0.35pc. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.07pc lower, while Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.39pc.

Oil rose, supported by the Chinese factory data, rising energy demand and hopes for an agreement in the United States on more coronavirus-related economic stimulus.

“The oil complex is heavily reliant on that aid. We need people to be able to boost economic activity to spur demand,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital in New York.

US crude recently rose 2.3pc to $42.17 per barrel and Brent was at $45.16, up 1.71pc on the day.

The greenback ticked up against a basket of peers after posting its seventh consecutive weekly loss on Friday.

The dollar index rose 0.103pc, with the euro down 0.31pc to $1.1749.

Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2020