20/11/2020 Wall Street closed firmer on Thursday after Senator Chuck Schumer said Covid-19 stimulus talks are going to resume. The Nasdaq led the way amid a day of solid performance from software stocks. Asian markets mixed with China and Hong Kong looking pretty above the waterline, while equities in Australia are in the red with Japan underperforming. Oil prices bouncing back after concerns about coronavirus lockdowns affecting fuel demand weighed on the market. WTI up 2 cents to $41.88 a barrel, while Brent crude was up 3 cents at $44.11. Gold was weaker with spot prices off 0.11% at 1,865.17 an ounce.
The SARB monetary policy committee kept the repo rate at 3.5% on Thursday, signalling that the next move will likely be higher, while it revised the GDP forecast to a contraction of 8% in 2020. The JSE followed weaker global peers on Thursday, as restrictions to curb rising Covid-19 cases in Europe and the US overshadowed investors’ optimism about the vaccines. At the close of trading the JSE fell 0.99% to 56,753.49 points and the Top-40 index was down 1.03%. The gold mining index lost 2.96%. Financials dropped 1.21% and banks were down 0.9%.
European stock markets closed lower on Thursday as investors fretted over rising coronavirus deaths in Japan, the US and on the Continent. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 0.75%, alongside a fall in the German DAX of 0.88% , while both the French CAC 40 and London’s FTSE100 gave back 0.80 and 0.4% respectively.
The Dow bagged 44.81 points, or 0.15%, at the close with the S&P500 tagging along 0.39% to close firmer, and the Nasdaq leading the gains to advance 0.87% at the close. Sales of existing homes in October soared well past expectations, rising 4.3% month-on-month and 26.6% annually, according to the National Association of Realtors. Stock index futures dropped as cities, states clamp down with more virus restrictions. Dow futures sinking -185 points, or 0.63%, alongside the S&P500 futures slipping 0.47%, while the Nasdaq futures as flat at 0.08% on Friday. President-elect Joe Biden expressed frustration at incumbent President Donald Trump’s administration, which has been un-cooperative in the transition process leading up to the inauguration ceremony. The lack of help has hindered his team’s ability to get accurate COVID-19 data, Biden said.
Asia Pacific stocks were mostly up despite the growing dispute between U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the Federal Reserve over funds earmarked to help businesses, non-profit organisations and local governments overcome the COVID-19 impact. Japan’s Nikkei down 0.43%, while In Australia the ASX200 is pretty flat 0.02% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 0.53%. China’s Shanghai Composite also firmer, gaining 0.14%.