SHANGHAI, Aug 23 (SMM) — This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last Friday night and what is expected today.
The US dollar hit a new 9-1/2-month high against major peers on Friday, buoyed by fears that the Delta coronavirus variant could delay the global economic recovery just as central banks begin to reverse pandemic-era stimulus.
While moves in currency markets were much more contained than on Thursday as equity markets stabilised, the risk-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars fell sharply again.
The dollar index, which measures the currency against six rivals, rose as high as 93.597 for the first time since early November, before trading little changed at 93.629. For the week it is on track to gain about 1%, the most in two months.
On Wall Street, stock futures were flat in overnight trading on Sunday after volatile week on Wall Street as investors eye a key event where the Federal Reserve could hint at prospects for tapering stimulus.
Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 15 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures were both slightly higher.
Major averages were coming off a losing week as investors grew worried that the Fed’s potential move to pull back monetary stimulus could slow down the economic recovery that is already challenged by the spread of the delta Covid-19 variant.
The blue-chip Dow fell 1.1% last week, while the S&P 500 declined nearly 0.6%, breaking a two-week winning streak. The tech-heavy Nasdaq dipped 0.7% during the week.
Oil prices closed out their biggest week of losses in more than nine months with another down day on Friday, as investors sold futures in anticipation of weakened fuel demand worldwide due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The crude market has now posted seven consecutive days of losses. Numerous nations worldwide are responding to the rising infection rate due to the coronavirus Delta variant by adding travel restrictions to cut off the spread.
China has imposed stricter disinfection methods at ports, causing congestion, nations including Australia have ratcheted up travel restrictions, and global jet fuel demand is softening after improving for most of the summer.
Brent crude fell 8% on the week, settling down $1.27, or 1.9%, to $65.18 a barrel, its lowest since April and down about 8% for the week. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for September settled down $1.37, or 2.2%, to $62.32 a barrel on Friday, to lose more than 9% for the week.
Gold was little changed on Friday, with gains curbed by a stronger dollar, while growing concerns over a global economic slowdown due to a spike in COVID-19 infections underpinned the safe-haven metal.
Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,782.45 per ounce by 1:56 p.m. EDT. US gold futures settled up 0.1% at $1,784 per ounce.
Worries over a slowing economic recovery and possible tapering from the US Federal Reserve dented appetite for riskier assets.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the Friday session up 0.3% with retail stocks leading the gains.
The German DAX closed up 0.17% after a bigger-than-expected jump in producer prices, which saw a 1.9% increase month-on-month in July.