Sun, 05 Apr 2020

Demand for U.S. dollars intensifies, Wall St dives

Lola Evans
21 Feb 2020, 07:21 GMT+10

NEW YORK, New York - U.S. stocks weakened on Thursday but the biggest market-mover was the U.S. Dollar which soared to new heights.

The Japanese yen dived to 112.06, while the euro pierced 3-year lows to fall to 1.0788.

The British pound tumbled to 1.2877. The Australian dollar dived to 0.6613. The New Zealand dollar crumbled to 0.6331.

The Swiss franc was slightly lower at 0.9840. The Canadian dollar edged down to 1.3264.

Spurring the safe-haven buying of dollars, and the sell-off in stocks, in part at least ,was a warning from S&P Global Ratings that Chinese lenders were facing up to $1.1 trillion in doubtful loans because of the coronavirus.

German data released Thursday showed the GFK Consumer Confidence Survey at 9.8 which was in line with expectations but was below the previous 9.9. The German Producer Price Index increased by 0.8% month-on-month, which was higher than the 0.2% expected. EU Consumer Confidence improved in February to -6.6 according to preliminary estimates.

In the U.S., weekly jobless claims met expectations at 210,000 for the week ended 14 February, while the Philadelphia Fed business index surged to 36.7 in February from 17 in January.

At the close of trading Thursday the Dow Jones index was down 128.05 points or 0.44% at 29,219.98.

The Standard and Poor's 500 fell 12.92 points or 0.38% to 3,373.23.

The Nasdaq Composite lost 66.21 points or 0.67% to 9,750.96.

Overseas equity markets were mixed: lower in Europe, generally higher in Asia.

The German Dax slumped 0.91%. In Paris, the CAC 40 fell 0.80%.

London's FTSE 100 declined 0.27%.

On Asian markets, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was the odd man out Thursday. At the close of trading it was 46.65 points or 0.17% lower at 27,609.16.

In mainland China however there was strong demand for stocks with the Shanghai Composite jumping 54.75 points or 1.84% to 3,030.15..

The Nikkei 225 in Japan closed 78.45 points or 0.87% ahead at 9,817.18.

The Australian All Ordinaries climbed 17.80 points or 0.25% to 7,255.20.

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