Wall Street futures recover slightly at the start of the European session on Monday, after experiencing the biggest weekly loss since March. Still, the volatility is high, and the American benchmark indexes can continue their downtrend by the end of the US session. Investors are waiting for Election Day and will check the Fed’s decision on Thursday.
Democrat Joe Biden continues to lead in the polls, though the gap in battleground states is still tight.
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The number of COVID cases has slowed down in the US, though several states saw record figures. Elsewhere, the UK introduced a one-month partial lockdown, which hit investor sentiment.
Futures on the S&P 500 are up 0.37%, and Nasdaq 100 futures have increased by 0.33%. Last week, tech giants like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue figures for the previous quarter. Still, the tech selloff was driven by poor outlooks from Apple, Facebook, and Amazon. Also, the fears of economic damage caused by the second wave of the pandemic are prompting investors to question the tech stocks’ high prices, after Nasdaq added 25% year-to-date.
In Asia, stocks are mostly higher in early trading on Monday, mainly driven by upbeat data from China. Nevertheless, the uptrend is capped by fears that the surging COVID cases would lead to more economic pain. Also, markets still don’t know what to expect from the US election.
At the time of writing, China’s Shanghai Composite is up 0.22%, and the Shenzhen Component has added over 1%. Activity in the country’s manufacturing industry accelerated at the fastest rate in about a decade last month as domestic demand jumped, according to the private survey from Caixin and IHS Markit. China’s manufacturing PMI increased to 53.6 from 53.0 in September, while investors expected no change. Thus, the economic recovery is accelerating in China, while many European countries are forced to introduce lockdowns and slow their economies.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is up 0.93%.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 is up 1.41%, and South Korea’s KOSPI has gained 1.45%.
In Australia, the ASX 200 closed 0.40% higher. Earlier today, Australia reported that building approvals for new homes jumped over 15% in September after a decline in August and versus the expected increase of 1.3%. Buyers sought to benefit from mortgages at record-low interest rates. Demand for houses ended a five-month losing streak after rising 0.4% in October.
In Europe, futures are mixed, as German DAX and British FTSE are flashing red, while French CAC has surged over 1%.
The UK announced further restrictive measures. Later this week, the country will implement a second lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday. The restrictions come as Britain records over 20,000 cases daily.
In the commodity market, oil prices slumped to the lowest level since the end of May, as European countries like the UK and Italy are introducing stricter lockdowns amid surging COVID infections. WTI is down 4% to $34.36, and Brent has dropped by 3.58% to $36.55. Meanwhile, investors are waiting for a chaotic presidential election week in the US. Elsewhere, Libya’s crude production is increasing toward 1 million barrels per day, after a truce in the civil war made it possible for the national oil producer to return to previous figures. Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of the National Oil Corp said in the weekend that daily output had reached 800,000 barrels and the country was aiming for 1.3 million by the beginning of next year.
Gold is up slightly even amid a strong US dollar, as investors’ appetite for safe havens increased amid further lockdowns in Europe and ahead of the US election. The metal is now up 0.24% to $1,884.
In FX, the US dollar is cautiously uptrending, as it acts as a hedge amid Europe’s lockdowns. Still, the rally is capped by the uncertainty before Election Day. The USD Index is up 0.14% to 94.168. Last week, the greenback saw the largest weekly gain since the end of September. EUR/USD is down 0.10% to 1.1635.
The British pound has dropped over 0.30% against the US dollar and is down versus the euro as well. The sterling is under pressure amid pessimism surrounding the lockdown. Investors ignored the positive Brexit news, as negotiators are closer to a trade deal than ever.