MSCI’s all country world index, which tracks shares across 50 countries, fell 0.32 points or 0.04%, as declines in Asian equities undercut new highs in European and U.S markets.
The S&P 500 hit a record high for the fourth straight session, helped by technology and banks stocks, and a government survey that showed U.S. consumer confidence in June hit its highest since the pandemic started.
European stocks measured by the pan-European STOXX 600 index were up 0.5%, helped by a jump in industrial, financial and mining stocks set to benefit from economic improvements.However, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 4.16 points or 0.59 percent, to 699.86, as some countries re-imposed lockdowns to contain the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
Chinese stocks lost 0.92% as investors booked profits after a rally on the economy’s strong rebound from the pandemic.
Fears over the highly infectious Delta variant are denting sentiment in markets already on edge after the Fed appeared to take a hawkish tilt this month.Indonesia is grappling with record-high cases, Malaysia is extending its lockdown and Thailand announced new restrictions. Spain and Portugal were imposing travel restrictions on unvaccinated British travelers.
“The outlook for policy in general and the U.S. specifically, both fiscal and monetary, is the more relevant factor in the market’s mind right now rather than the spread of the Delta variant,” said James Athey, investment director at Aberdeen Standard Investments.
“That may well prove to be naive or complacent.”On Friday, markets will watch the U.S. jobs report for June, with economists polled by Reuters expecting a gain of 690,000 jobs this month, up from 559,000 in May.
Source – Money control