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Global stocks held steady on Thursday ahead of the European Central Bank’s monetary policy update and despite COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in Europe being extended and cases rising globally. 

As COVID-19 cases and deaths have continued to surge after last week saw the highest number of cases so far through the pandemic, lockdown restrictions have been tightened or extended in a number of countries. 

India recorded the highest amount of daily cases by any country during the pandemic on Wednesday. 

This has mostly impacted oil prices, with Brent crude down 0.9% and WTI down 0.8%  on Thursday. This is the third consecutive day oil prices have fallen, as post-pandemic economic recovery concerns in major economies grow. The easing of restrictions in some European countries such as France could not balance out the downwards trend. 

A US house panel also pushed a bill that allows for anti-trust lawsuits against OPEC to be filed, but this had little impact on the oil market. 

Despite Japan being hit hard by COVID-19 in recent weeks, the Nikkei 225 recovered on Wednesday and was up 2.38% at the end of the trading day. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong and China’s Shanghai Composite were little changed on the day, rising and falling by 0.2%, respectively. 

A recovery in the US benchmark indices on Wednesday fed into some strength on Asian markets overnight.  S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow Jones futures were steady on the day, showing barely any change. 

“A lack of clear new drivers has played its part with a lot of good news priced into equity valuation globally. Nerves that Covid-19 may linger for longer and vaccine effectiveness temper a buy-everything rally that is looking a little tired. All of which leads to the boisterous flip-flop price action seen this week,” …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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