The death of an 87-year-old man in Beijing on Sunday came as infections across China spiked
New York (AFP) - Global stocks mostly fell Monday as renewed concerns about harsh coronavirus curbs in China rattled investor sentiment, while oil prices gyrated as Saudi Arabia denied a report that exporters were weighing a production increase.
China’s first coronavirus deaths in six months sparked fears officials would reimpose strict, economically painful restrictions to fight outbreaks across the world’s second-biggest economy.
Some of Beijing’s largest shopping malls were closed Sunday, while others reduced opening hours or banned table service at restaurants as officials urged residents to avoid non-essential travel.
“No one can tell whether (Chinese President) Xi Jinping would pull back from the reopening plans, which would be another disaster for the Chinese stocks, and for the investor confidence,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank.
Paris, London, Frankfurt and Milan all ended in the red on Monday while Wall Street also lost ground.
The fall in European and US stocks came after most Asian markets including Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and Shanghai ended lower, although Bangkok, Tokyo and Wellington were up.
“There is a bit of a risk off sentiment today,” said Angelo Kourkafas of Edward Jones.
“There’s no US data. But there are some headlines about the worsening Covid-19 trends in China, which is adding to global growth concerns,” he added.
US investors expect subdued trading during the week, which includes the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.
This is traditionally a “quiet” stretch for markets, Kourkafas said.
Oil prices plunged more than five percent early in the session following a Wall Street Journal report that said Saudi Arabia, which co-leads the OPEC+ cartel along with Russia, and other members were considering an “increase of up to 500,000 barrels a day.”
But the official Saudi Press Agency said on Monday night that energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman “categorically denies” the report.
“It is well known, and no secret, that OPEC+ does not discuss any decisions ahead of its meetings,” SPA quoted Prince Abdulaziz as saying.
The next OPEC+ meeting is scheduled for December 4.
Among individual companies, Disney jumped 6.3 percent as it ousted Bob Chapek as chief executive and said it would bring back longtime former chief Bob Iger as it struggles to boost the financial performance of its streaming business.
- Key figures around 2210 GMT -
New York - Dow: DOWN 0.1 percent at 33,700.28 (close)
New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.4 percent at 3,949.94 (close)
New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 1.1 percent at 11,024.51 (close)
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,376.85(close)
Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.2 percent at 6,634.45 (close)
Frankfurt - DAX: DOWN 0.4 percent at 14,379.93 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.4 percent at 3,909.28 (close)
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.2 percent at 27,944.79 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 1.9 percent at 17,655.91 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.4 percent at 3,085.04 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0245 from $1.0325 on Friday
Dollar/yen: UP at 142.10 yen from 140.37 yen
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.1823 from $1.1890
Euro/pound: UP at 86.58 pence from 86.34 pence
West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.4 percent at $79.73 per barrel
Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.2 percent at $87.45 per barrel