Asia Morning: U.S. Stocks Take a Breather

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On Thursday, U.S. stocks closed in negative territory...coronavirus lockdowns have led to a total of 51 million job losses across the country...

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On Thursday, U.S. stocks closed in negative territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 135 points (-0.50%) to 26734, the S&P 500 dropped 11 points (-0.34%) to 3215, and the Nasdaq 100 was down 75 points (-0.70%) to 10626.

Nasdaq 100 Index: Daily Chart


Source: GAIN Capital, TradingView


U.S. Labor Department reported that Initial Jobless Claims amounted to 1.300 million for the week ended July 11 (1.250 million expected). In other words, coronavirus lockdowns have led to a total of 51 million job losses across the country.

Prior to the session, China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slumped 4.50%, the largest one-day loss since early February, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 2.00%

Software & Services (-1.53%), Consumer Services (-1.48%) and Real Estate (-1.19%) sectors lost the most.

Travel-related stocks such as Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH -15.62%), Carnival Corp (CCL -9.73%), Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL -7.57%) and American Airlines (AAL -7.37%), which were top gainers in the prior session, led the market lower Thursday.

On the technical side, about 52.0% (46.8% in the prior session) of stocks in the S&P 500 Index were trading above their 200-day moving average, and 82.8% (65.1% in the prior session) were trading above their 20-day moving average.

U.S. official data showed that Retail Sales jumped 7.5% on month in June (+5.0% expected).

Due later today are reports on Housing Starts (an increase in annualized rate to 1.180 million units in June expected) and the University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index (July preliminary reading expected at 79.0).

European stocks also ended in the red. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index eased 0.47%. Germany's DAX 30 slipped 0.43%, France's CAC 40 dropped 0.46%, and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was down 0.67%.

The benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield sank back to 0.614% from 0.629% Wednesday.

Spot gold price retreated $13.00 (-0.7%) to $1,797 an ounce halting a three-session rally.

Oil prices lacked upward momentum amid muted market sentiment. U.S. WTI crude oil futures (August) settled 1.1% lower at $40.75 a barrel.

On the forex front, the ICE U.S. Dollar Index rebounded 0.3% on day to 96.30, snapping a four-day losing streak.

EUR/USD marked a day-high of 1.1443 before closing down 0.2% to 1.1385. The European Central Bank kept its monetary policy unchanged as expected. ECB President Christine Lagarde said the central bank currently expects to spend the full amount of its pandemic bond-buying program.

GBP/USD fell 0.2% to 1.2556. Official data showed that U.K. ILO jobless rate remained at 3.9% in the three months to May (4.2% expected), compared with the three months to April.

USD/JPY rose 0.4% to 107.32.

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