Global stocks broadly lower on concerns over Delta variant

by Jonathan Adams
Delta variant

Stock markets were broadly lower as investors fretted that the Delta variant may put the brakes on global economic recovery

Markets in Asia were broadly lower on Tuesday as investors weighed record gains on Wall Street against concerns the Delta variant of coronavirus may slow down the global economic recovery.

Major US indices bounced back overnight from a slow start as bargain hunters stepped up purchases — leaving both the Dow and S&P 500 finishing narrowly positive to extend a streak of record-high closes to a fifth day in a row.

Global stock markets were also broadly lower as investors fretted that the resurgent Delta coronavirus variant may put the brakes on global economic recovery.

New Zealand announced a snap three-day national lockdown, which follows a curfew imposed in Australia’s second-largest city of Melbourne on Monday over a Delta variant outbreak.

Those moves added to concern about lockdowns and travel restrictions in China, the world’s second-largest economy.

Wall Street’s streak of five straight records for the Dow and S&P 500 indices ended following a lacklustre US retail sales report that exacerbated worries about the latest Covid-19 wave.

Earlier, Asian and European markets dropped for the second consecutive day.

London’s FTSE 100 stocks index was a rare gainer after official data revealed a dip in UK unemployment during the second quarter as the economy began to reopen from lockdown.

Separate figures confirmed that the eurozone economy bounced back 2% between April and June.

On the corporate front, shares in BHP soared more than 7% in London after the miner giant announced a multi-billion-dollar deal to sell its liquid fossil fuels business as it seeks to transition to cleaner energy.

BHP also logged its highest annual profit in nearly a decade on runaway copper and iron ore prices, and the stock ended the day with a 3% gain.

Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare said investors were also primed to sell after the run of record closes.

Investors “found enough of an excuse to dial things back,” O’Hare said in an interview.



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