World shares dip on profit-taking after hitting record highs

Reuters NEW YORK | Updated on April 20, 2021

Dow Jones Average down 0.47 per cent, S&P 500 loses 0.69 per cent and Nasdaq Composite skids 1.18 per cent to 13,886

An index of stocks across the world dipped, on track to end Monday with the largest daily drop in almost four weeks, after touching a record high and investors looking for earnings to justify the high valuations.

The US dollar index touched a more than 6-week low and Treasury yields edged up after posting on Friday their largest weekly drop since June and oil prices slipped on concerns over rising coronavirus cases globally.

On Wall Street indexes fell, with the Nasdaq being the biggest decliner. Tesla Inc shares fell following a fatal crash involving one of its cars.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 160.74 points, or 0.47 per cent, to 34,039.93, the S&P 500 lost 28.8 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 4,156.67 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 165.89 points, or 1.18 per cent, to 13,886.46.

"The market has had a huge jump to the upside so it needs to take a little bit of rest," said Peter Cardillo, chief markete conomist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

"For now it's just a little bit of profit-taking as traders await results from big tech names on Wall Street."

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.37 per cent

The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.07 per cent and emerging market stocks rose 0.03 per cent. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.14 per cent higher. Nikkei futures lost 1.63 per cent.

The dollar fell against a basket of peers on the back of the sharp drop in Treasury yields last week.

"Indeed, the USD rally is all but a distant memory by now and the currency's under-performance seems to reflect the apparent divergence in the outlook between the slumping UST yields and the rather perky bond yields elsewhere," said Valentin Marinov, head of G10 FX research at Credit Agricole.

The dollar index fell 0.57 per cent, with the euro up 0.43 per cent at $1.2035.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.59 per cent versus the greenback at 108.13 per dollar, while sterling was last trading at $1.3986, up 1.13 per cent on the day.

Treasury yields rose after last week's sharp drop.

"Yields are taking their cues from the equity markets," said Jim Barnes, director of fixed income for Bryn Mawr Trust. He and others said investors are also waiting to gauge the market's appetite for $24 billion of 20-year bonds scheduled to be auctioned on Wednesday.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 8/32 in price to yield 1.6011 per cent, from 1.573 per cent late on Friday.

Spot gold dropped 0.3 per cent to $1,770.69 an ounce. Silver fell 0.60 per cent to $25.80.

Bitcoin last fell 0.92 per cent to $55,764.99.

Oil prices edged up, but rising Covid-19 infections in India prompted concern that stronger measures to contain the pandemic would hurt economic activity.

A weaker dollar makes oil cheaper for holders of other currencies. However, Covid-19 cases have surged in India, the world's third biggest oil importer and consumer, dampening optimism for a sustained global recovery in demand.

"The primary hazard to continued oil price strength is the possible re-emergence of COVID-19 case counts on a broad scale,"said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates.

US crude rose 0.46 per cent to $63.42 per barrel and Brent was at $67.07, up 0.45 per cent on the day.

Published on April 20, 2021

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