(Bloomberg) — U.S. equity futures erased gains after data showed steady but uninspiring data on retail sales and investors assessed contrasting data from China on how the coronavirus is spreading. Treasuries advanced.
Futures on the S&P 500 Index were little changed after rising overnight. U.S. retail sales rose in January for a fourth straight month, though the prior month’s gain was revised lower. Chipmaker Nvidia Corp. and travel giant Expedia Group Inc. jumped after making strong forecasts. Tesla Inc. slipped after pricing a stock offering. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose, led by real estate and food shares.
Major Asian equity markets climbed except for those in Tokyo and Mumbai. Oil continued its rebound, pushing above $52 a barrel in New York. The euro steadied near a 2017 low after data showed the region’s economy grew a scant 0.1% in the fourth quarter, matching forecasts. The dollar held its level versus a basket of peers after solid retail sales data. Copper futures slipped.
While Beijing reported a smaller increase in virus cases in the epicenter of Hubei versus the previous day, they were still bigger than before the counting methodology was changed. That clouded the picture of how the pandemic is being curbed, in a week that’s been marred by Chinese airlines putting workers on leave and firms such as drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc warning of a tougher outlook because of the novel disease.
Nonetheless, stocks globally are headed for a second successive week of gains as investors anticipate a possible V-shaped economic recovery from the virus, even as the effects continue to be felt. E-commerce giant Alibaba Group warned that the disease is having a fundamental impact on China’s economy, and nearly 86,000 domestic and international flights in and out of China were canceled Jan. 23-Feb. 11, or 34% of scheduled services.
“The difficulty with trading these things is timing — and right here, right now, we are not through the woods yet with the coronavirus,” said Kyle Rodda, market analyst at IG Markets Ltd. “You look for those signals to suggest that effectively we are looking at that kind of V-shaped recovery that is still potentially on the cards.”
Hubei reported almost 5,000 new cases, a day after confirming nearly 15,000. The death toll in China was at 1,380, lowered by more than 100 to account for some double-counting. Earlier, the World Health Organization said a surge in diagnoses didn’t necessarily indicate a spike in infections, which had helped to lift risk appetite.
Elsewhere, havens including gold and the yen were steady.
These are the main moves in markets:
Futures on the S&P 500 were virtually unchanged as of 8:51 a.m. in New York.Nasdaq 100 Index futures rose 0.1%.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 0.1%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.1%.The MSCI World Index was little changed.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.The euro was unchanged at $1.0841.The Japanese yen was little changed at 109.84 per dollar.South Africa’s rand strengthened 0.6% to 14.8639 per dollar.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell three basis points to 1.59%.Germany’s 10-year yield dipped one basis point to -0.40%.Britain’s 10-year yield fell four basis points to 0.613%.Japan’s 10-year yield climbed one basis point to -0.027%.
West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.4% to $52.12 a barrel.Gold was little changed at $1,576.71 an ounce.LME aluminum declined 1% to $1,730 per metric ton.Iron ore dipped 0.4% to $85.69 per metric ton.
–With assistance from Adam Haigh.
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