Global stocks hover near record high, oil skids on demand outlook

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In this news, we discuss the Global stocks hover near record high, oil skids on demand outlook.

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian stocks stalled near record highs on Friday as investors weighed renewed doubts about a much-anticipated coronavirus vaccine against hopes that some economies in the region will recover faster than their Western peers.

The largest MSCI index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan fell 0.04%, but remained a striking distance from a lifetime peak hit this week.

Australian stocks ended down 0.53%. Treasury Wine Estates Ltd fell 11.25% after China slapped tariffs on Australian wine, which is likely to deepen a diplomatic row between Beijing and Canberra.

The Japanese Nikkei rose 0.33% in volatile trade.

Stocks in China rose 0.13% after data showed Chinese industrial profits surged at the fastest pace since the start of 2017. South Korean stocks also rose 0.27%.

US S&P 500 e-mini stock futures fell 0.09%. U.S. financial markets were closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and will trade on a partial schedule later Friday.

Euro Stoxx 50 futures fell 0.26%, German DAX futures fell 0.24% and FTSE futures fell 0.22%, suggesting a soft start to the session European.

Oil prices in the United States have extended their decline from their seven-month high on signs of oversupply.

British manufacturer AstraZeneca’s coronavirus drug has been touted as a ‘vaccine for the world’ due to its inexpensive cost, but the vaccine’s effectiveness is now under further scrutiny, which it says experts, could delay its approval.

Several scientists questioned the robustness of the results showing that the shot was 90% effective in a subgroup of trial participants who initially mistakenly received a half dose followed by a full dose .

“With the number of cases worldwide now having passed 60 million … there is certainly difficult ground ahead for global recovery, and this can create economic scars,” ANZ Bank analysts wrote in a note.

The MSCI’s broadest global equity indicator was up 0.08% on Friday, hitting just below a record set in the previous session.

Concerns over the distribution of a coronavirus vaccine have re-focused the current state of the pandemic, which appears grim in many places.

U.S. hospitalizations for COVID-19 are on record, and experts warn Thanksgiving gatherings could lead to further infections and deaths.

More than 20 million people across England will be forced to live under the most severe restrictions even after a nationwide lockdown ends on December 2. Partial lockdowns in some European countries have also raised concerns about economic growth.

The chief economist of the European Central Bank underscored the concerns in conciliatory comments on Thursday, which pushed European bond yields lower.

The euro, which last bought $ 1.1924, did little to react as traders largely took into account expectations of further ECB easing next month.

The dollar index fell to its lowest for more than two months.

The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury bills fell to 0.8586% as some investors sought the safety of holding government debt.

US crude plunged 1.82% to $ 44.88 a barrel. Brent fell 0.17% to $ 47.72 per barrel.

Demand for fuel is falling due to new coronavirus lockdowns, but some oil producers are not complying with agreed production cuts, raising concerns about oversupply.

Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, climbed to $ 17,256 on Thursday, but fell 8.4% in the previous session after failing to hit its record high of $ 19,666.

The cryptocurrency did little to respond to a Financial Times report that Facebook will launch its own digital currency Libra in a limited format next year.

Bitcoin has risen by around 140% this year, fueled by demand for riskier assets.

Reporting by Stanley White; edited by Richard Pullin, Lincoln Feast and Kim Coghill

Original © Thomson Reuters

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