Stocks in rocky trade as investors assess risks of second wave
Asian shares and U.S. stock futures were in rocky trade on Friday as fears of a second coronavirus wave dwarfed hopes for a fast economic recovery.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.1%, while S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 0.21%.
Chinese shares surged 1.15%, lifted by gains in the health care and financial sector. South Korean stocks dropped 0.25% amid diplomatic tensions with North Korea.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.8% due to a major cyberattack on all levels of the Australian government.
Markets have been in a risk-off mood this week due to the spike in new coronavirus cases. On Thursday, 400 workers at a slaughterhouse in Germany tested positive for the virus. Meanwhile, investors are keeping an eye on a surge of new cases in Beijing and in several U.S. states.
All three major U.S. stock indexes were range-bound. The Dow slid 0.15%. The S&P 500 gained 0.06%.
Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 0.03%, German DAX futures 0.04%, and the FTSE futures 0.19% in cautious trade.
Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said that the U.S. economy could take one to two years to fully recover. Gross domestic product for 2020 has already declined 6%, while the unemployment rate is expected to remain at 9% by year’s end.