Thursday, 4 March 2021

Markets mixed, COVID-19 could become endemic

Markets were mixed on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 fell 1.3 percent, the STOXX Europe 600 was flat and the Shanghai Composite jumped 1.9 percent.

A rise in US Treasury yields early on Wednesday proved short-lived as US economic data came in below expectations.

A report from ADP showed that private companies added 117,000 new jobs in February, below the 225,000 expected by economists.

The ISM nonmanufacturing index came in at 55.3 for last month, down 3.4 percentage points from January and below the 58.7 Dow Jones estimate.

IHS Markit’s final euro zone composite PMI reading for February came in at 48.8, up from 47.8 in January but indicating that economic activity remained in contraction.

“The Eurozone faces the possibility of lapsing back into recession,” said VTB Capital Global Macro Strategist Neil MacKinnon.

And economic recovery could prove weaker than previously expected as scientists now increasingly think that COVID-19 could become endemic, with restrictions on activity required to remain in place even after vaccinations have been implemented.

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