Wall Street opens the session in decline, with the S&P 500 at -1.60% and the Dow Jones at -1.82%, on the new declarations of the United States President Donald Trump against China and on the news that more than 2, 9 million Americans applied to receive unemployment benefit last week, bringing total applications from the end of March to 36.5 million. Markets fear renewed tensions between the US and China after Trump in an interview with Fox Business said that the United States could end all relations with Beijing. In that case, “we would save $ 500 billion,” Trump added.
The main European squares are increasing their falls in the wake of Wall Street and concerns about the economic consequences of the coronavirus emergency. In Milan, the Ftse Mib slips to -3.6%, despite the Government has approved the relaunch decree of 55 billion euros, in Frankfurt the Dax drops by 3.45%, in London the Ftse100 loses 4.04% and in Paris the Cac 40 loses 3.28%.
The ECB in its Economic Bulletin stresses that the eurozone “is facing an economic contraction of unprecedented size and speed in peacetime”. With the gradual easing of containment measures, economic activity is expected to recover, the Bulletin reads, however, the extent and speed of this recovery remain “highly uncertain”. According to central bank estimates, the eurozone’s GDP could decline by 5% -12% in 2020. Yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sounded a similar alarm about the possibility that the economic recovery could take time “to gain momentum”. Stock exchanges also slow down on fears of a second wave of infections after China, Germany and South Korea have registered an increase in cases.
On the data front, the unemployment rate in France fell to its 2008 lows in the first quarter of 2020 to 7.8% from 8.1%. This drop in the unemployment rate is the result of a sharp drop in the number of unemployed people actively seeking employment during the confinement period, the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) said. In Italy, exports decreased by 13.5% on an annual basis in March, while imports fell by 18.1%.
Oil prices are picking up slightly, with WTI at $ 26 a barrel and Brent at $ 30 a barrel, on the news that U.S. crude inventories have fallen by around 0.7 million barrels to 531.5 million barrels.
Asian stock exchanges end the session in the negative. In Tokyo the Nikkei 225 drops 1.74%, in Hong Kong the Hang Seng index drops 1.44%, in Shanghai the Composite is down to -0.96% and in Seoul the Kospi marks -0, 80%. In red also the Asx 200 in Sydney at -1.72% on the news that the unemployment rate in Australia rose to 6.2% in April from 5.2% in March.