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The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures contract fell 0.48%, the broad S&P 500 index fell 0.34% and the highly technological Nasdaq was stable.
After the significant decline the day before, it seems that “optimists are starting to buy the indices”, notes Vincent Boy, analyst at IG France.
“Some investors are wondering if the upward movement is just related to hedging purchases or if the market is getting used to the increasing cases” of coronavirus, observes David Madden, analyst for CMC Markets.
Still, rising health concerns with the surge in cases of Covid-19 in the United States and the apprehensive forecasts of the International Monetary Fund have dampened investor enthusiasm.
The institute warned on Wednesday that the recovery from this “crisis like no other” would be slower than expected, predicting a global recession of 4.9% this year.
No country has been spared: the gross domestic product of the United States, the world’s largest economic power, is expected to collapse by 8% this year, well beyond the 5.9% decline estimated in April.
In Europe, where the rise in the number of coronavirus cases worries the World Health Organization, the contraction in GDP is staggering: -12.5% for France, -12.8% for Spain and Italy .
The Pentagon has published a list of 20 Chinese companies, including the telecommunications giant Huawei, which it considers linked to the Chinese army, the latest episode in the economic battle between Washington and Beijing, American media reported.
Investors were expecting many US publications including orders for durable goods, which will give an overview of the strength of the rebound in May, the latest estimate of US growth in the 1st quarter or the weekly jobless claims.
The Paris Stock Exchange posted some gains at midday on Thursday (+ 0.03%) after an opening and a previous session in the red, waiting for a string of American statistics. The CAC 40 index advanced 1 point to 4872 points. The day before, it had fallen by 2.92%.
The London Stock Exchange was moving down Thursday morning (-0.23%), still weighed down by concerns about a renewed health crisis and its impact on the economy. The FTSE-100 index of main values lost 13 points to 6109 points.
The Frankfurt Stock Exchange was evolving slightly higher Thursday, the Dax took 0.14% in a market doubly concerned by the resumption of contaminations with coronavirus and tensions on trade. The star index gained 17 points to 12,111 points.
On the oil side
Oil prices remained in the red, after having plunged more than 5% Wednesday against the publication of a new record level of crude stocks in the United States. The price of a barrel of American WTI crude lost 1.87% to 37.34 dollars and that of a barrel of London Brent 1.29% to 39.79 dollars.