Asia was generally lower and European stocks are fairly flat this morning with market attention back on coronavirus with the World Health Organization saying the virus is “getting worse” globally.
- 1.314 million American workers filed unemployment claims during the week ending July 4th, well below forecasts of 1.375 million. Figures for the previous week were also revised lower by 14K to 1.413 million. The latest number lifted the total reported since March 21st to 50 million, as record spikes in coronavirus infections forced several states to scale back or pause the reopening of their economies.
- WTI crude futures slumped more than 2% to trade around $39.9 per barrel on Thursday, amid persistent concerns about the need of further lockdowns and economic shutdown as the number of coronavirus infections continues to increase, specially in the US. At the same time, oversupply concerns mounted after data from both the EIA and API showed a surprise build in US crude inventories last week. Also, supplies at the Cushing storage hub increased for the first time since early May.
- US wholesale inventories dropped 1.2% from a month earlier in May 2020, following a downwardly revised 0.2% gain in April, in line with the preliminary estimate. It is the largest decline in wholesale inventories since September of 2009, due to the coronavirus crisis.
- China’s annual inflation rate rose to 2.5% in June 2020 from a 14-month low of 2.4% in the prior month and in line with market expectations. Food inflation accelerated to 11.1% from 10.6% in May as pork prices continued to rise (81.6% vs 81.7%).
- On Thursday: European stocks ended weak, extending losses to a third straight session, as the relentless surge in new coronavirus cases in the U.S. and a few other countries across the world offset hopes about an economic recovery and prompted investors to lighten commitments. Asian stocks rose broadly even as caution prevailed amid worries about the surge in coronavirus cases in the U.S. and other parts of the world. US stocks ended mostly as the relentless surge in coronavirus cases across America raised fears of another lockdown in several states and dimmed prospects for a quick economic recovery.
- Thursday’s data below:
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