Asian Stock Markets Retreat After Wall Street Slide

10/12/2020 Asian equities markets slipped on Thursday after U.S. technology stocks dragged Wall Street benchmarks down amid growing concern that lawmakers will fail to break a deadlock on a pandemic relief plan before the end of the year. Chinese equities edged higher, while most indices moderately gave up earlier gains. U.S. futures were little changed. Oil prices rose in on Thursday buoyed by a COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Britain. WTI crude futures rose 0.46% to $45.75 a, while Brent crude 0.39% to $49.05 a barrel. Gold futures flat 0.080% at $1,840.66. Prices stayed above the $1,800 mark as investors turned to the safe-haven yellow metal.

The JSE gained 0.22% to 59,291.75 points at the close and the Top-40 0.16%. Banks gained 1.43%, inflation figures came out inline, and general retailers 1.88%. The local currency is floating around R14.9600/$, having gained almost 1.50% in five-days against the greenback.

NEWS:
• The government declared a second wave of coronavirus infections as the number of cases surged.
• U.K.’s Vaccine Snag; Azar Warns of Risks Indoors: Virus Update
• MTN Plans Sale and Leaseback of South African Tower Portfolio
ECONOMIC DATA (All times Central African Time):
• 11am: 3Q Current account balance, est. 197.5 billion, prior -104 billion rand
• 11am: Oct. Mining production m/m, est. 1.5%, prior -0.3%; y/y est. -4.7%, prior -2.8%; Platinum production y/y, prior -0.5%; Gold output y/y, prior -0.7%
• 12:30pm: Oct. Manufacturing production m/m, est. 1.9%, prior 3.2%; NSA y/y, est. -5.1%, prior -2.6%
GOVERNMENT:
• Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture continues with testimony from McKinsey officials; see McKinsey to Repay $44 Million, Testify in S. African Graft Probe

EU/UK/US
European markets finished on a mixed note on Wednesday ahead of a key meeting between the UK Prime Minister and European Commission chief, Ursula von der Leyen, to thrash out a Brexit deal. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.32%, with the German Dax 0.47% stronger, London’s FTSE100 flat 0.08%, while the CAC-40 slipped 0.25%. The talks ended without a breakthrough.

U.S. equities declined as lawmakers continued to debate a stimulus package. The S&P 500 slid from a record, while the Nasdaq 100 had its biggest drop in more than a month. Dow slipped 105 points, or 0.35%, at the close, alongside the S&P500 loosing 0.79%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq slumped 1.94%.

Facebook Inc. sank after being sued by U.S. antitrust officials. As part of its lawsuit, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to force Facebook to break off both Instagram and WhatsApp. Tesla Inc. tumbled as JPMorgan Chase & Co. called it “dramatically” overvalued. U.S. futures little to unchanged this morning.

ASIA
Stocks mostly lower in Asia after weakness in technology shares led an overnight decline on Wall Street.Benchmarks fell in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney but edged higher in China. The Shanghai Composite index added 0.2%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.45% and the Nikkei 225 index gave up 0.1. Australia’s ASX 200 declined 0.67% after China’s government has announced additional import taxes on wine from Australia, stepping up pressure on its government amid a bitter diplomatic conflict over the coronavirus and territorial disputes.