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Stock markets aim to end week on a high, USD strengthens

stock markets
Martin Young

US stock markets are aiming to end the week holding on to gains they made at the start of it. A little confidence has returned following a selloff last week on fears of a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

The S&P 500 had a bullish day on Monday surging from 2950 points to top 3100. That momentum carried on into Tuesday where the index hit a weekly high just above 3150 points. Since then things have been relatively flat but there are hopes that the week could end on a high following that 5% gain.

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The Nasdaq 100 topped 10000 points again this week following a similar surge on Monday across stock markets.

Stock Futures Flat

U.S. stock futures were still flat on Thursday night following as traders grappled with disappointing unemployment data and rising Covid-19 cases. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained just 27 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures pointed to a muted Friday open for the two indexes.

Despite contrary claims by President Trump, the US economy is still in turmoil with initial jobless claims totaling 1.5 million for last week. According to Bloomberg, tensions between the US and China continue to simmer with Trump adding that America could pursue a “complete decoupling from China” in response to unspecified conditions.

Stock markets across Asia saw a mixed performance in thin trading sessions for many of the major benchmarks. European markets also had a choppy week but turned higher as optimism for economic recovery begins to grow.

Forex Update

On currency markets, the US dollar traded near a two-week high against a range of currencies and has gained about 0.4% for the week overall. The pandemic is still driving investors into the safety of the world’s reserve currency as economies continue to suffer, with many still under lockdown.

Cable sat just above a two-week low at $1.24. According to reports, the British currency is under pressure as investors worried that the Bank of England may not be planning enough bond buying to support confidence through 2021.

Forex analyst at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Kim Mundy, said;

“We’re seeing a few wobbles in commodity currencies as focus is returning to the increasing infections. The key element is going to be whether or not we see governments re-impose lockdown measures,”

The Euro has remained steady at $1.12, though Fiber has lost about 1.3% of its value against the greenback since a Tuesday, and the Japanese yen firmed a fraction to 106.9 per dollar.

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