US stocks rally, oil slips on Covid-19 concerns

Reuters NEW YORK | Updated on April 22, 2021

The Dow Jones financial electronic ticker is seen at Times Square in New York   -  KSL

Dow Jones Average rises 0.93 per cent to 34,137, S&P 500 up 38 points at 4,173, Nasdaq Composite adds 163 points to 13,950

World stocks rose on Wednesday as Wall Street and Europe bounced back from large drops, while oil prices continued to be weighed down by rising Covid-19 cases in Asia.

Concern that record coronavirus infections in India, likely restrictions in Japan and rising cases in Latin America will be a hurdle for the global economic recovery has weighed on investor sentiment, though the S&P 500 closed just 12 points below its record close.

On Wall Street, a 7 per cent drop in Netflix weighed on the Nasdaq but indexes bounced back from their largest declines in a month.

"You take Netflix out of today's equation, it's simply a broad-based rally," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 316.01 points, or 0.93 per cent, to 34,137.31, the S&P 500 gained 38.48 points, or 0.93 per cent, to 4,173.42 and the Nasdaq Composite added 163.95 points, or 1.19 per cent, to 13,950.22.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.41 per cent and the pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.65 per cent.

Emerging market stocks lost 0.80 per cent. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.88 per cent lower, while Japan's Nikkei futures rose 0.86 per cent after a 2 per cent overnight drop in the Topix.

Oil prices were weighed by concerns that surging Covid-19 cases in India will drive down fuel demand in the world's third-biggest oil importer and by a surprise build in US stockpiles.

"Demand jitters were thrust back into the spotlight yesterday (Tuesday) amid a sharp rise in global coronavirus cases. Nowhere is this more obvious than in India," PVM analysts said.

US crude fell 2.49 per cent to $61.11 per barrel and Brent was at $65.07, down 2.25 per cent on the day.

In currency markets, the dollar dipped and was in a tight range throughout the session, not far from the more than six-week low hit intra-day on Tuesday.

The dollar index fell 0.111 per cent, with the euro up 0.02 per cent to $1.2035.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.03 per cent versus the greenback at 108.06 per dollar, while Sterling was last trading at $1.3927, down 0.06 per cent on the day.

US Treasury yields were little changed even after an auction of 20-year bonds showed strong demand, a pattern analysts expect to persist until next week's data releases and Federal Reserve meeting.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 2/32 in price to yield 1.5573 per cent, from 1.562 per cent late on Tuesday.

The 20-year bond last rose 5/32 in price to yield 2.1372 per cent, from 2.147 per cent.

Spot gold added 0.9 per cent to $1,794.03 an ounce. Silver gained 2.62 per cent to $26.55 an ounce.

Published on April 22, 2021

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