Asian shares, as well as U.S. stock futures staggered through trades on Friday with increasing worries about a new spike in COVID-19 cases.
Shares in China (CSI300) rose 0.61%, and this was largely propelled by gains made in the financial and health care sectors. However, South Korean stocks (KS11) fell by 0.81%, owing to concerns about diplomatic tension with North Korea.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (MIAPJ0000PUS) eased by 0.06%, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 (AXJO) jumped by 1.0%, owing to gains in the energy sector attained with oil futures rising as renewed hopes that output cuts will put a floor under prices.
Fresh contagion worries have impacted markets across the globe making some investors a little less optimistic about the speed of global economic recovery from the pandemic. In the U.S., all three major stock indexes oscillated through most of the day with investors struggling to assess the impact of employment data even with no guidance from corporations on their earnings.
This is especially because the rate of unemployment in the U.S. has remained high even with major signs of a second wave of COVID-19 prompting a second wave of layoffs. Companies have had to face large declines in revenues as a result of the pandemic.
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Chuck Carlson, chief executive officer at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana explained that, “The market is looking for its next big impulse. There are a lot of impulses in the market for investors to weigh, sift through and take into account to figure out the next direction.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell by 0.15% on Thursday, while the S&P 500 (SPX) grew by 0.06%. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) rose by 0.33% as well, even after spending most of the session down.