On Thursday, European shares were mixed and world shares were close to all-time highs, after a strong session in the Asian market in which worsening US data was outweighed by the market euphoria around hopes for additional fiscal stimulus, Joe Biden’s presidential win, and COVID-19 vaccines. This November, world shares seem to be having their best month ever recorded, as they were boosted by a series of positive coronavirus vaccine announcements and hopes that political stability and more economic stimulus will be delivered by a Biden administration. On Wednesday, the MSCI’s broadest world equity index that tracks shares of 49 countries, had reached an all-time high.
On Thursday, it remained on the same level and by 0821 GMT, it had climbed by 0.2%, as markets did not respond to the latest increase in jobless claims in the United States. Having its best month, the European STOXX 600 has also increased by 14.5% this November. However, it remained flat on the day, while there was a 0.4% fall in London’s FTSE 100. The minutes of the US Federal Reserve meeting held in November were also disclosed and they gave a boost to the markets. They showed that officials had discussed how the purchases of the central bank could be adjusted to provide the economy with additional support.
The minutes indicated that policymakers would provide new guidance about their bond-buying activity. Analysts said that the release of the minutes had increased the downward pressure on the US dollar because there was a chance that the Fed would strengthen their QE program at their next meeting on December 16th. There was a decline of 0.1% in the US dollar against a basket of other major currencies and it was trading at 91.922 at 0828 GMT. In early London trading, the dollar touched the lowest level in three months.
It was also down by 0.2% against the safe-haven yen and was trading at 104.3 by 0832 GMT. On Thursday, the US Markets were closed for Thanksgiving. Americans were urged by the President-elect to avoid big family gatherings and to maintain social distancing and wear protective masks, as there is a surge in the COVID-19 cases. Analysts said that even though vaccines had promising results, there was no exact timeline for their release. Thus, investors would continue to struggle because no one knows when this pandemic will be over. The economic data on Wednesday showed that there was an increase in US jobless claims for the second week straight.
This indicates more problems ahead, as partial lockdowns and business restrictions continue to damage employment numbers. A survey in Europe showed that German consumer morale declined even more, as we head into December. Partial lockdowns in the largest economy in Europe affected incomes of households and their willingness to spend money. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, stated that lockdown measures would be in place until the end of December at the very least and could also be longer. The euro had climbed against the dollar by 0.1% by 0831 GMT.