Morning Report

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  • Asian stocks drop as virus recovery begins to look distant
  • Dollar holds gains as Powell shuns negative rates
  • Oil slips more than 1% despite surprise US crude stock drawdown

Asia’s stock markets fell and gold hit a one-week high on Thursday as worries about a second wave of coronavirus infections and a dour assessment of the way back from the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve dashed hopes for a quick recovery.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell warned of an “extended period” of weak economic growth, while vowing to use the U.S. central bank’s power as needed and calling for additional fiscal spending to stem the fallout from the pandemic.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1%, while Japan’s Nikkei  fell about 0.7%.U.S. stock futures ESc1 fell 0.2%, after the S&P 500 index’s worst two-day drop in nearly a month. Benchmark indexes in Australia , Hong Kong , Korea  and China  all fell about 1%.

Bonds and the dollar rallied after Powell talked down the prospect of negative interest rates in the United States, and extended gains on Thursday. Yields on benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasuries fell slightly to 0.6412%.

The dollar traded at $1.0818 against the euro  on Thursday following a 0.3% gain in the previous session.Against the pound , the greenback was quoted at $1.2238, close to a five-week high.The greenback was little changed at 106.91 yen 

Oil prices slipped in spite of a surprise drawdown of U.S. inventories and gold was firmly above the $1,700 mark, touching a week-high $1,719.11 per ounce. Brent crude fell 46 cents a barrel, or 1.5 percent to $29.52 after hitting a low of $28.92 a barrel earlier. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 35 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $25.44.

Source : Reuters

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