Saturday, 24 July 2021

Markets mixed, COVID-19 resurgence threatens economy

Markets were mixed on Friday.

The S&P 500 rose 1.0 percent and the STOXX Europe 600 jumped 1.1 percent. However, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.7 percent.

Strong earnings reports, especially from technology stocks, helped boost sentiment in the US, and the economy is expected to acccelerate to a 9.2 percent growth rate in the second quarter.

However, the resurgence of COVID-19 in the US and around the world may dampen economic growth.

“Export platforms like Vietnam are being locked down now,” said Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at consulting firm RSM. That could hurt global supply chains.

The US reported an average of about 43,700 new cases per day over the past week, up 65 percent over the previous seven days and nearly three times as high as the level two weeks ago.

And while much hope for containing the pandemic has been pinned on vaccination, Israel, where the Delta variant is the dominant strain, has reported that Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is just 39 percent effective.

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