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Thursday, July 16, 2020, 22:42
Shares fall as Sino-US tensions eclipse China GDP growth
By Reuters
Thursday, July 16, 2020, 22:42 By Reuters

TOKYO - Asian shares and US stock futures fell on Thursday, weighed down by concern about US-China relations and the economic cost of a resurgence in coronavirus infections that is prompting some governments to reimpose containment measures.

Even news that the Chinese mainland’s economy rebounded more than expected in the second quarter was not enough to pull regional equities out of the red.

US stocks fell on Thursday with the S&P 500 retreating from a five-week high as concerns about the economic toll from another round of shutdowns across the United States offset data showing upbeat domestic retail sales in June.

At 9:49 am ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 125.92 points, or 0.47%, at 26,744.18, the S&P 500 was down 21.88 points, or 0.68%, at 3,204.68. The Nasdaq Composite was down 116.37 points, or 1.10%, at 10,434.12.

The S&P index recorded 20 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 51 new highs and nine new lows. 

European markets looked set to follow Asia lower, with Euro Stoxx 50 futures falling 0.83 percent, German DAX futures down 0.73 percent, and FTSE futures off 0.53 percent.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slid by 1.18 percent, while Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.74 percent. US S&P 500 e-mini stock futures declined by 0.43 percent.

Shares in the Chinese mainland fell 1.59 percent and Australian stocks shed 0.9 percent after the country’s jobless rate jumped to the highest since the late 1990s. Shares in Hong Kong and Seoul also fell.

Oil futures also declined after OPEC and its allies agreed to scale back output cuts, renewing concerns over excess supply.

The Chinese mainland economy expanded by a better-than-expected 3.2 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, returning to growth as lockdown measures ended and policymakers stepped up stimulus.

Investors are also worried about jumps in coronavirus cases in the United States, Australia, and Japan.

In the currency market the Australian dollar, the New Zealand dollar, and the Chinese yuan all fell against the US dollar amid rising risk aversion.

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