LONDON: Global stocks began the week on the back foot as investors readied for the start of an earnings season marked by unprecedented uncertainty over the corporate impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Oil prices climbed after a historic deal to cut output.
U.S. equity futures dropped, while stocks saw losses in Japan, South Korea and China. Many markets remained closed for the Easter holiday. The dollar dipped after OPEC+ agreed to cut 9.7 million barrels a day from global crude output — just below the initial plan of 10 million. The yen advanced and Australian dollar slipped. Treasury yields were little changed. A number of countries including the U.S., France, Germany, Italy and Spain reported a slowdown in new coronavirus cases.
With earnings season kicking off in earnest this week, investors will be hoping to get a better sense of how bad the hit to global profits could be as the coronavirus upends the world’s economies. Uncertainty is high as to what the coming months will bring with companies having a hard time grasping the situation and predicting the short-term future.
Meanwhile, without an effective therapy or a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, the U.S. economy could face 18 months of rolling shutdowns as the outbreak recedes and flares up again, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari said.
These are the main moves in markets:
S&P 500 futures fell 1.5% at 7:02 a.m. in London.
Japan’s Topix Index fell 1.7%.
Korea’s Kospi Index slipped 1.7%.
Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.6%.
The yen rose 0.5% to 107.92 per dollar.
The offshore yuan traded at 7.0567 per dollar, down 0.1%.
The euro was little changed at $1.0937.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 0.71%.
West Texas Intermediate crude rose 4.2% to $23.72 a barrel.
Gold fell 0.7% to $1,685 an ounce.