Asia Morning June 18

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

Asia Morning: U.S. Stocks Mixed as Second-Wave Virus Worries Persist

On Wednesday, U.S. stocks closed mixed, as worries over a second-wave coronavirus pandemic persisted. Authorities of Chinese capital city Beijing ordered the lockdown of residential communities following surging infections. In the U.S., the number of coronavirus cases in Arizona, Florida and Texas reached new highs. Meanwhile, a clinical trial in Britain showed that dexamethasone, an inexpensive and common, can help save critically-ill COVID-19 patients.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 170 points (-0.7%) to 26119, and the S&P 500 declined 11 points (-0.4%) to 3113, while the Nasdaq 100 rose 33 points (+0.3%) to 9982.

Nasdaq 100 Index: Daily Chart

Souirce: GAIN Capital, TradingView

Semiconductors & Related Equipment (+0.78%), Retailing (+0.52%) and Media (+0.32%) sectors performed the best, while Energy (-3.28%), Banks (-2.69%) and Automobiles & Components (-1.97%) sectors lagged behind. H&R Block (HRB -9.48%), Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH -8.40%), TripAdvisor Inc (TRIP -7.61%) and Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL -7.15%) were among the biggest losers.

On the technical side, about 43.9% (41.3% in the prior session) of stocks in the S&P 500 Index were trading above their 200-day moving average, and 71.6% (53.8% in the prior session) were trading above their 20-day moving average.

U.S. official data showed that Housing Starts rose to an annualized rate of 974,000 units in May (+1.100 million units expected).

Due later today are Initial Jobless Claims (a decrease to 1.290 million expected), Continuing Claims (a decline to 19.850 million expected), and the Conference Board Leading Index (+2.4% on month expected).

European stocks were firm, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rising 0.7%. Germany's DAX increased 0.5%, France's CAC advanced 0.9%, and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 0.2%.

U.S. government bond prices stabilized, as the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield settled lower at 0.732%.

Spot gold closed flat at $1,725 an ounce.

Oil prices retreated after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported crude-oil stockpiles added 1.2 million barrels last week to another record level. U.S. WTI crude oil futures (July) settled 1.1% lower at $37.96 a barrel.

On the forex front, the ICE U.S. Dollar Index was little changed at 97.07. Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said she forecasts a 6% decline in GDP this year with jobless at around 9%.

GBP/USD lost 0.2% to 1.2557. Official data showed that U.K. CPI grew 0.5% on year in May (as expected). Meanwhile, the Bank of England is expected to hold its benchmark rate at 0.10%, while asset purchase target is anticipated to raise to 745 billion pounds from 645 billion pounds.

EUR/USD slipped 0.2% to 1.1243. USD/JPY slid 0.3% to 106.97.

Related tags: Commodities Forex Equities

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