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On Thursday, European commodity and stock markets struggled to stabilize after some of the biggest economies in the region returned to national lockdowns, triggered by the most drastic global selloff within months. Almost 5% of the value of European stocks was wiped on Wednesday, but a 0.5% to 1% bounce in the Wall Street Futures and hopes of support from the European Central Bank helped in stemming the route. Nonetheless, stocks still remained a bit shaky. There was only a 0.1% improvement in the pan-European STOXX 600. There was a 0.5% increase in the German DAX, but it was on course for a weekly drop of 8% that will be steepest since March, when the initial panic of COVID-19 hit the markets.
Commodities were also affected by the concerns, as oil took a spill of 1.8%, which left it at its lowest price of $38.5 per barrel since June. According to market experts, the significant surge in the coronavirus cases in Europe and also the United States is the reason for the market upheaval in the last few days. Therefore, the W-shaped scenario that can be seen is now the consensus in the market, even though it is usually where economies stabilize. The other main focus of the day was the ECB’s meeting and the economic data.
Investors also remained on edge due to the increasing uncertainty of the U.S. election scheduled for Tuesday. As expected, no changes to monetary policies were made overnight by the Bank of Japan, but it did trim its forecasts for reflecting sluggish services spending in the summer. Investors are expecting the ECB to hold off on measures similarly and instead take some action in December, which is probably going to keep the euro under the lid. The currency reached a 10-day low against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday and a hundred-day low against the Japanese yen, before it recovered slightly.
Considered as the primary safe-haven assets in Europe, the German government bonds still saw a strong demand. Their yields, which are inversely proportional to price, had reached seven-month lows. Analysts said that considering what was happening in Germany and France, the ECB would certainly talk about additional stimulus, even if they don’t deliver it immediately. Yesterday, the global stock markets wiped out $2 trillion in value, with trading volumes on the New York Stock Exchange up by nearly 40% to their highest level after September.
The Japan-exclusive MSCI index for Asia-Pacific shares declined by 0.6%, as South Korea fell by 1% and Australia declined by 1.6%. Chinese blue chips saw a boost of 0.5%, but there was a 0.3% slump in Japan’s Nikkei. The Asian currencies also experienced a slight bounce against the greenback, which was led by the Chinese yuan. Market experts said that Asia wasn’t really participating in the second and third wave events because they mostly have COVID-19 under control. Therefore, domestic economies are quite reasonable, as the transmission rate in these countries is going down whereas Europe is seeing a massive spike.
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