Asia Morning June 19

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

Asia Morning: U.S. Stocks Mixed Again, Dollar Firms Up

On Thursday, U.S. stocks closed mixed again, as investors tried to digest data on rising coronavirus cases and initial jobless claims. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 39 points (-0.2%) to 26080, the S&P 500 added 1 point to 3115, while the Nasdaq 100 climbed 29 points (+0.3%) to 10012 posting a four-session rally.

S&P 500 Index: Daily Chart

Source: GAIN Capital, TradingView

Software & Related Services (+0.98%) and Household & Personal Products (+0.89%) sectors performed the best, while the Real Estate (-1.34%), Consumer Durables & Apparel (-1.1%) and Food & Staples Retailing (-0.43%) sectors lagged behind. closed at a record high of $2,653.98.

On the technical side, about 43.5% (43.9% in the prior session) of stocks in the S&P 500 Index were trading above their 200-day moving average, and 56.3% (71.6% in the prior session) were trading above their 20-day moving average.

U.S. Labor Department reported that Initial Jobless Claims declined to 1.508 million for the week ended June 13 (1.290 million expected), and Continuing Claims dipped to 20.544 million for the week ended June 6 (19.850 million expected). The Conference Board Leading Index rose 2.8% on month in May (+2.4% expected).

European stocks came under pressure, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index falling 0.7%. Both Germany's DAX and France's CAC were down 0.8%, and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 lost 0.5%.

U.S. government bond prices rebounded further, as the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield slid further to 0.693%.

Spot gold price still lacked upward momentum and eased $4.00 dollar (-0.2%) to $1,721 an ounce.

Oil prices stabilized. U.S. WTI crude oil futures (July) advanced 2.3% to $38.84 a barrel.

On the forex front, the U.S. dollar strengthened against its major peers, with the ICE Dollar Index rising 0.4% to 97.45.

GBP/USD sank 1.1% to 1.2424. The Bank of England kept its benchmark rate unchanged at 0.10%, while increasing asset purchase target to 745 billion pounds from 645 billion pounds, both as expected. BOE said it expects that programme to be completed "around the turn of the year". On the other hand, U.K. retail sales for May will be reported later in the day (-16.4% on month expected).

EUR/USD dropped 0.3% to 1.1208., down for a third straight session.

USD/JPY was little changed at 106.99. This morning, official data showed that Japan's national CPI grew 0.1% on year in May (+0.2% expected).

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