Tuesday 18 May 2021
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European shares dip

World shares dipped on Friday as investors awaited progress towards more U.S. fiscal stimulus, while the dollar was set for a weekly loss and cryptocurrency Bitcoin hit a record high. European shares fell at the start of trading, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index down 0.2% on the day. Germany’s DAX was down 0.7%. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.35% and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.3%. Italy’s FTSEMIB index fell 0.8% on the day, with the country’s bond yields were near record lows.

Markets in China and most of Southeast Asia are closed on Friday for the Lunar New Year. China’s stock and bond markets, foreign exchange and commodity futures markets are closed through Feb. 17 for the holiday. Futures for the S&P 500 declined 0.12%. MSCI’s All Country World index, which tracks stocks across 49 countries, fell 0.15% on the day, shy of record highs reached earlier this week.

Investors weighed some tepid economic data against increasing COVID-19 vaccinations and the prospect that more government spending and continued cheap money from central banks will drive higher growth and, eventually, inflation. Investors will have to follow a “spike train”, monitoring hospitalizations, stimulus, inflation, and volatility, said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, in his monthly letter to clients.

Earlier, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.2%, trading just shy of a record high reached in the previous session. Australian stocks lost 0.63%. Shares in Tokyo fell 0.14%, pulling back from 30-year highs. On Wall Street on Thursday, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 gained 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.02%. Spot gold fell 0.5% to $1,816.91 per ounce. U.S. gold futures fell 0.7% to $1,813.6. Gold prices are still on track for their best week in three amid broad dollar selling. The dollar index rose 0.25% on Friday but was still on course for a 0.6% weekly decline.

European shares dip, Bitcoin hits record high, Reuters, Feb 12

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