European stocks slipped with US futures as new virus cases continue to mount in major cities around the world.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.2% and the Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 1.1% after Tokyo reported a record number of new Covid-19 infections. Treasury yields and the dollar extended declines after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the US economy still has a “long way to go” before it fully recovers from the pandemic.
Bitcoin extended its parabolic ascent, surging past $18,000 for the first time since December 2017. The mania
in the cryptocurrency has reached a fever pitch, following a wider embrace from Wall Street linchpins, including Fidelity Investments, which launched a Bitcoin fund over the summer.
Broadly in markets, investors seem to be taking a pause after stocks hit all-time highs in the wake of progress towards a vaccine. Wide distribution of a shot is still months away, and cases are spreading quickly in the US and Europe.
Meanwhile, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to resume negotiations on fiscal stimulus. McConnell stuck to his insistence on a targeted package.
“With the election uncertainty out of the way it’s about Covid; we’ve seen this exponential growth in cases,” said David Kudla, Mainstay Capital Management CEO and chief investment strategist. “It’s also about fiscal stimulus, when that finally comes, how much we get. We know we have good news on the vaccines, but those are out in the future.”
Pfizer Inc Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said that a key safety milestone had been reached in the study of its vaccine, and the drug maker is now preparing to seek an emergency-use authorisation.
In other markets, the pound added to gains on signs the UK and European Union are nearing a breakthrough on Brexit as early next week.
China stocks posted modest gains, shrugging off news that the US Securities and Exchange Commission is pushing ahead with a plan that may kick Chinese companies off US stock exchanges.
Brexit talks look set to continue as the UK and EU approach the latest deadline.
Bloomberg New Economy Forum virtually convenes global leaders to discuss
trade, growing political populism, climate change, and the pandemic.
Bank Indonesia rate decision on Thursday.
Futures on the S&P 500 Index were little changed in London. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 0.2%. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2%. The MSCI Emerging Market Index climbed 0.6%.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 0.2% to 1,146.40. The euro increased 0.2% to $1.189. The British pound climbed 0.3% to $1.3285. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.3% to 103.89 per dollar.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries decreased one basis point to 0.84%. The yield on two-year Treasuries increased less than one basis point to 0.17%. Germany’s 10-year yield declined one basis point to -0.57%. Britain’s 10-year yield fell one basis point to 0.314%.
West Texas Intermediate crude gained 0.4% to $41.55 a barrel. Gold was little changed at $1,881.29 an ounce.