US indices fell sharply yesterday registering their biggest fall since June as the number of Americans filing for unemployment fell more than expected but it remained high. US services industry growth also slowed in August leading to declines in all major indices. The Dow Jones, S&P and Nasdaq all fell led by declines in some of the biggest stocks like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google’s Alphabet. The pullback comes only a day after both the S&P and Nasdaq reached record levels and Dow being only 1.5% short of its record peak. The closely watched payroll report is set for later today.
The US dollar consolidated gains but was set for its biggest weekly rise in nearly four months as an overnight plunge in high-flying US stocks fuelled a bout of risk aversion in global markets. The dollar’s bounce this week comes after weeks of losses which saw the greenback index fall to a low of 91.74, last seen in April 2018, after the FED overhauled its policy framework last week, which would allow it to keep rates lower for longer periods, a negative for the dollar.
German industrial goods orders rose by 2.8% on the month in July signalling a slower-than-hoped return to pre-pandemic levels dampening hopes that Europe’s largest economy can recover strongly in the third quarter from the coronavirus shock. Domestic orders fell by 10.2% and orders from abroad were up 14.4% on the month in July. It follows a fall in retail sales on Wednesday which has led the government to forecast a GDP fall of 5.8%, the biggest since World War Two. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has since March unleashed an array of rescue and stimulus measures, financed with record borrowing of 217.8 billion euros, to help companies and consumers.
The USD gained against most major currencies changing hands at $1.1854 to the euro, a pullback from a two-year low hit on Tuesday. The British pound bought just over $1.33, retreating from its highest level in almost a year due to a lack of progress in trade negotiations between Britain and the European Union. The greenback buys 0.91 Swiss francs seemingly establishing a much lower range from the 0.99 levels it enjoyed before the pandemic. Against the yen, the dollar traded at 106.20. The Antipodean currencies initially fell slightly, tracking the broader loss of investor confidence as a sell-off in US tech shares hit Asian stocks and a closely-watched measure of market volatility hit a 10-week high.