Global Stocks Drop After U.S. Slump; Dollar Gains: Markets Wrap

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(Bloomberg) — Global stocks fell further from records amid a panoply of concerns spanning earnings, valuations, coronavirus trends and the fallout of frenzied retail trading in parts of the U.S. market. The dollar rose.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slumped at the open as investors mulled earnings beats from chipmaker STMicroelectronics NV and Diageo Plc against a miss from Swatch Group AG and a revenue drop at EasyJet Plc. Also weighing on sentiment is an ongoing dispute between AstraZeneca Plc and the European Union over vaccine supplies for the region.

U.S. equity futures slipped after disappointment over results from the likes of Apple Inc. and Tesla Inc. sent shares sliding after market. On Wednesday, the S&P 500 slumped 2.6% in its worst rout since October as retail traders piled into heavily-shorted companies, sparking losses at hedge funds and causing turmoil in parts of the market.

Treasury yields dipped toward the 1% level after Federal Reserve officials left their main interest rate unchanged and made clear the central bank was nowhere near exiting massive support for the economy. Stocks in Hong Kong and Australia saw the bulk of Asian losses.

Stocks have stumbled after a prolonged rally that spurred talk of possible asset bubbles and predictions of a pullback given a raging pandemic and patchy rollout of vaccines. Adding to investor anxiety is a wave of retail traders bidding up heavily-shorted shares, whipsawing stocks around the globe.

“The combination of a short covering in U.S. equity markets and delays in vaccines distribution have led U.S. and European equity markets 2 to 3% down,” according to Sebastien Galy, macro strategist at Nordea Funds. “One important point is that a dovish Fed still could not turn around the market, a signal that this may last a few days.”

Why GameStop Furor Is Hurting Stock Markets

Soaring volatilities are forcing investors to cut leverage, and that means a large amount of cash is exiting the market. Big institutional names are losing a lot of money very quickly. The stock-market “game” has changed radically over the past week. That raises uncertainty and has risk managers very nervous.

Mark Cudmore, Bloomberg Macro Strategist.

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These are some key events coming up in the week ahead:

Fourth-quarter GDP, initial jobless claims and new home sales are among U.S. data releases Thursday.U.S. personal income, spending and pending home sales come Friday.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

Futures on the S&P 500 Index decreased 0.3% as of 8:20 a.m. London time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dipped 1%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1.9%.The MSCI Emerging Market Index fell 1.7%.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced 0.2%.The euro decreased 0.1% to $1.2103.The British pound sank 0.2% to $1.3655.The onshore yuan strengthened 0.1% to 6.478 per dollar.The Japanese yen weakened 0.2% to 104.28 per dollar.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries sank one basis point to 1.01%.The yield on two-year Treasuries was unchanged at 0.12%.Germany’s 10-year yield dipped less than one basis point to -0.55%.Britain’s 10-year yield declined one basis point to 0.262%.Japan’s 10-year yield fell one basis point to 0.04%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude declined 0.7% to $52.48 a barrel.Brent crude dipped 0.6% to $55.48 a barrel.Gold weakened 0.2% to $1,839.86 an ounce.

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