Subdued Markets Show Little Movement

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA
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After the double-digit ups and downs of last week, the world stock markets were more subdued on opening.

The FTSE 100 shifted just 0.91% all day to 5560.53, while the FTSE 250 dropped by almost the same amount (0.97%) to 14626.89.

The Pound was more settled as well, finishing at 0.45% up against the Euro, buying €1.12.

Against the US Dollar, the price dipped 0.51% to $1.23.

The markets seemed t be reacting to mixed coronavirus news.

As the number of infected and deaths soared in the USA, Spain and Italy cautiously reported turning a corner as the casualty lists appeared to flatten.

Has the worst of coronavirus passed?

Analysts in the States have forecast the worst has passed for many investors.

John Normand, of bank  JPMorgan, has said that “conditions set for markets to stabilize then revive” have “mostly been met.” The bank was looking at factors including infection rates, market pricing and the amount of fiscal stimulus announced by governments.

He added that “the missing criteria is a convincing deceleration in COVID-19 daily infection rates.”

Based on this thinking, Wall Street followed London with a tentative opening.

The Dow Jones was up 1.99% to 22066.92 after a few hours, with the NASDAQ up 2.9% to 7719.90 and Chicago’s S&P 500 rising 2.2% to 2597.47.

In Europe, Spain’s IBEX 35 was down 1.87% to 6651.2; the CAC 40 in Paris climbed 0.5% to 4373.27 and Frankfurt’s DAX jumped 1.67% to 9793.28.

Oil hits lowest price for 18 years

The price of oil futures dropped again.

Brent crude was down 12% to £18.19/$22.32 a barrel, the lowest price since November 2002.

“Oil prices failed to keep pace, with growing (coronavirus) lock-down measures and reports that this could drive global demand down 20%, potentially pushing the world to run out of storage capacity,” said Morgan Stanley analyst Devin McDermott.

The drop in value will hit OPEC oil producers worst as their economies rely on pumping crude and demand from the rest of the world.

Although a fall in demand is damaging but is really about jockeying for market share, the situation is compounded by Saudi Arabia increasing output to try to force shale oil producers out of the market.

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