World Shares, Futures Lower Wednesday 12/02 05:47
Global shares and Wall Street futures slipped Wednesday as buying enthusiasm
waned after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite index both set fresh record highs.
(AP) -- Global shares and Wall Street futures slipped Wednesday as buying
enthusiasm waned after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite index both set fresh
Benchmarks fell in Paris, London, Hong Kong and Shanghai but climbed in
Tokyo and Seoul. Investors are betting that coronavirus vaccines may bring on a
fuller global economic recovery despite the challenges of immunizing billions
Pfizer and BioNTech said they've won permission for emergency use of their
COVID-19 vaccine in Britain, the world's first coronavirus shot that's backed
by rigorous science -- and a major step toward eventually ending the pandemic.
The move makes Britain one of the first countries to begin vaccinating its
population as it tries to curb Europe's deadliest COVID-19 outbreak.
Renewed talk of a possible U.S. stimulus package failed to drive major gains
in most world markets as investors adopted a "wait and see" stance after so
many failed attempts to forge an agreement on additional help for the economy
as the U.S. endures fresh waves of coronavirus infections and resulting
Germany's DAX shed 0.4% to 13,328.15 and the CAC 40 in Paris gave up 0.3% to
5,568.21. In Britain, the FTSE 100 edged 0.1% lower to 6,381.53. The future for
the S&P 500 slipped 0.3% while the contract for the Dow industrials lost 0.4%.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was almost unchanged at 6,590.20 after officials
reported the economy expanded 3.3% in July-September from the previous quarter
as the country recovered from pandemic lockdowns. That lifted the country out
of recession, although in annual terms the economy contracted 3.8% from a year
"The rebound in Q3 GDP reversed around 40% of the decline during the first
half of the year and we expect output to return to pre-virus levels by
mid-2021," Ben Udy of Capital Economics said in a commentary.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.1% to 26,532.58, while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo
edged 0.1% higher to 26,800.98.
South Korea's Kospi gained 1.6% to 2,675.90 and the Shanghai Composite index
edged 0.1% lower, to 3,449.39. India's Sensex gave up 0.9%.
Overnight, the S&P 500 gained 1.1% to 3,662.45, with Big Tech companies and
banks driving a big part of the rally. The strong opening to December follows a
10.8% surge for the broad index in November, marking its best month since
April. The tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 1.3% to 12,355.11. Both indexes beat the
record highs they set on Friday. Treasury yields also rose in another sign of
optimism from investors.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6% to 29,823.92, while the Russell
2000 index picked up 0.9%, to 1,836.05.
News that former Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen had accepted
President-Elect Joe Biden's nomination to be his treasury secretary also lifted
sentiment, analysts said.
European regulators could approve the vaccine developed by drugmakers Pfizer
and BioNTech within four weeks. The companies have already asked for approval
to begin vaccinations in the U.S. in December. Moderna is also asking U.S. and
European regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury was steady at 0.92% after jumping from
0.83% late Monday, a big move. The higher yields also helped bolster financial
stocks, since they allow banks to charge more lucrative interest rates on loans.
In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil shed 14 cents to $44.41 per
barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 79
cents to $44.55 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard,
lost 6 cents to $47.36 per barrel.
The OPEC oil producers' cartel continued talks Tuesday about how much to
pump next year as countries wrestled over whether to extend the production cuts
that have been supporting prices depressed by the pandemic.
Members put off from Tuesday to Thursday a meeting with non-OPEC oil
producers like Russia, who have been coordinating their actions with the cartel
in recent years to increase their influence.
The pandemic has sapped demand for fuel across the economy, leading oil
producers to cut back production this year to keep prices from sagging even
further. Yet lower output means less revenue for governments depending on oil
sales to fill state coffers.
The U.S. dollar strengthened to 104.57 Japanese yen, up from 104.34 yen on
Tuesday. The euro weakened to $1.2055 from $1.2072.