Global markets fell on Wednesday; US-China tension

Global markets fell on Wednesday, under pressure from rising US-China tension and concerns over the timeline for reopening economies during the coronavirus pandemic.

Global Markets

  • London’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.9 per cent in opening trading, as stocks across Europe lost ground.
  • The Stoxx 600 index, which offers a snapshot of the region’s largest companies, was down 1.3 per cent.
  • Asian stocks were mixed after a poor showing on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 snapped a six-day run of gains to close 2.1 per cent lower.
  • China’s benchmark CSI 300 index of Shanghai and Shenzhen-listed stocks gained 0.2 per cent.
  • Japan’s Topix index shed 0.1 per cent.
  • Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng index rose 0.1 per cent.

Bonds

  • The yield on US government debt fell as investors moved into safer assets.
  • The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield fell 0.036 percentage points to 0.657 per cent.

Currency Markets

  • Sterling was little moved by official data showing the UK economy shrank at the fastest monthly pace on record in March, and was recently flat against the US dollar at $1.2264.

Oil Prices

The recent rally in oil prices also fizzled out on Wednesday.

  • US crude benchmark West Texas Intermediate was down 1.7 per cent at $25.32 a barrel.
  • A day earlier WTI gained almost 7 per cent after the American Petroleum Institute reported that inventories at the key storage facility of Cushing, Oklahoma, had fallen by more than 2m barrels.
  • Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell 2.8 per cent to $29.11.

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