On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.8% on Friday, breaking a streak of gains. Investors have been encouraged by hopes for a coronavirus vaccine and central bank infusions of cash into struggling economies. But forecasters warn the rise in prices might be outrunning uncertain economic activity as case numbers rise in the United States and some other countries. Some are re-imposing anti-disease controls that disrupt business.
“The question now is whether there will be a sustained unwinding in this forthy market, or if conviction about fresh central bank liquidity and fear of missing out kicks in once again,” Mizuho Bank said in a report.
One possible sign the decline might be temporary: demand for government bonds and other assets considered safe havens in an extended down market “has not come flooding back in," the bank said. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2% to 3,350.03 after Chinese customs data showed August export growth accelerated to 9.5% over a year earlier while imports edged lower.
Shares in China’s most advanced semiconductor manufacturer, SMIC, fell 19.8% in Hong Kong following news reports from Washington that U.S. officials are considering limiting its access to American manufacturing technology. The company has denied U.S. suggestions it assists China’s military development.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo shed 0.4% to 23,113.84 while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was up less than 0.1% at 24,708.79. The Kospi in Seoul advanced 0.7% to 2,384.42 while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.2% to 3,915.30.
India's Sensex opened 0.2% lower at 38,288.95. New Zealand and Singapore advanced while Jakarta declined. Wall Street’s slide Friday followed a Labor Department report that showed U.S. hiring slowed to 1.4 million last month. That was fewest jobs added since the economy started bouncing back from the initial shock of the pandemic. The United States has recovered about half the 22 million jobs lost to the pandemic.
The S&P 500 fell to 3,426.96. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.6% to 28,133.31. The technology-heavy Nasdaq dropped 1.3% to 11,313.13. In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude oil for October delivery fell 55 cents to $39.22 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost $1.60 to $39.77 on Friday. Brent crude for November delivery, the international standard, declined 49 cents to $42.17 per barrel in London. It shed $1.41 the previous session to $42.66.
The dollar rose to 106.26 Japanese yen from Friday’s 106.21 yen. The euro fell to $1.1834 from $1.1852.