Global stocks fall as rise in US coronavirus infections causes uncertainty

US has 2.5 million confirmed Covid-19 cases and more than 125,000 deaths

                                

Global stocks fell today June 29, as investors considered whether the rise of coronavirus infections in the US would lead to further tightening of lockdown measures,  restraining economic recovery. 

London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.3 per cent, while the regional benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 was also down 0.3 per cent. 

Wall Street’s S&P 500 was set to open 0.1 per cent lower when trading begins, futures showed. 

Equities in the Asia-Pacific region suffered heavy losses, with Japan’s benchmark Topix index 1.8 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng down 1 per cent and South Korea’s Kospi down 1.9 per cent. 

Investors are to consider the risk of a significant setback in the recovery of the world’s largest economy after top US health officials said that the window to halt the pandemic’s spread across America was closing. 

The US has 2.5 million confirmed Covid-19 cases and more than 125,000 deaths from the disease, a quarter of the 10 million infections and half a million global fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Alex Azar, US health and human services secretary, said that Covid-19 cases were “surging” in the southern US, where several states ended lockdowns early. 

The S&P 500 last week closed 2.9 per cent lower after the Federal Reserve said it would limit share buybacks and dividends by America’s biggest banks, and Texas and Florida took steps to reverse their reopening measures.

The US dollar partially reversed gains from last week, as it shed 0.2 per cent against several currencies. 

Meanwhile, Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell 2 per cent to $40.20 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate, the US marker, also dropped 1.8 per cent to $37.79.

FURTHER READING: European stocks fall as Covid-19 cases rise

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