Views Article – Sharenet Wealth

Forex, News

Stocks, oil fall on weak data, earnings

(Changes throughout, updates prices)

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, Jan 22 (Reuters) – A gauge of stocks across the world slipped from record highs on Friday and oil prices fell to end the week little changed as weak economic data and underwhelming earnings drove investors to reverse some recent risky bets.

The dollar index, set to post its largest weekly drop in five weeks, edged higher for the first time since Monday.

Financial and technology stocks weighed the most on the S&P 500, with IBM and Intel posting 10% and 9% declines respectively after underwhelming earnings.

Energy stocks also fell on Wall Street, alongside the price of crude.

With stock valuations nearing levels not seen in two decades, some market participants said new COVID-19 variants and hiccups in vaccine rollouts pose near-term risks for equities.

“If we’re forced to keep the economy closed and it takes longer than we want to get through immunizations and vaccinations for the coronavirus, that’s going to be a little rougher on the market than people apparently anticipated,” said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Seattle.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 123.79 points, or 0.4%, to 31,052.22, the S&P 500 lost 6.56 points, or 0.17%, to 3,846.51 and the Nasdaq Composite added 11.11 points, or 0.08%, to 13,542.02.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.57% after a survey showed economic activity in the euro zone shrank markedly in January, with the services sector weighed by lockdown restrictions to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.40%.

Emerging market stocks lost 1.02%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.88% lower, while Nikkei futures lost 0.07%.

The dollar index rose 0.153%, with the euro up 0.03% to $1.2166, while sterling was last trading at $1.3674, down 0.42% on the day.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.31% versus the greenback at 103.82 per dollar.

Overnight data from Japan showed that factory activity slipped into contraction in January and the services sector was more pessimistic as emergency measures to combat a COVID-19 resurgence hit sentiment.

In commodities, oil prices were weighed down by a build-up in U.S. crude inventories and by worries that new pandemic restrictions in China will curb fuel demand in the world’s biggest oil importer.

U.S. crude recently fell 1.69% to $52.23 per barrel and Brent was at $55.36, down 1.32% on the day.

“The pandemic seems to continue to expand into a second wave in China, with infections rising by the day and reaching again different regions such as Shanghai,” said Rystad Energy oil markets analyst Louise Dickson.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 5/32 in price to yield 1.0906%, from 1.107% late on Thursday.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, Echo Wang, Herbert Lash and Laura Sanicola; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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