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US stocks tumble; Paris hit by glitch

Agence France-Presse

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US stocks tumble; Paris hit by glitch

The New York Stock Exchange is pictured at Wall Street in New York City on August 31, 2020. - Wall Street stocks paused near record levels early Monday ahead of key economic data later in the week, with a newly-tweaked Dow index edging lower. The final session of a heady August opened on a lackluster note as markets await employment data and updates on the manufacturing and services sectors in the coming days. About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.4 percent to 28,539.83. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP)


Investors remain focused on the chances for more US fiscal stimulus ahead of the November 3 presidential election, but time is dwindling

United States and European stock markets were mostly lower on Monday, October 19, as a technical hiccup hit Paris and investors saw dwindling chances of a US stimulus package.

Following 3 hours of technical problems, Euronext annulled all trades after 5:30 pm (1530 GMT), meaning the Paris benchmark CAC 40 index closed 0.14% higher, rather than 0.1% lower as originally calculated. 

“Because of these issues, Euronext has decided to cancel all the trades that occurred after 5.30 pm…on all asset classes, except commodities,” the operator tweeted.

Frankfurt slipped by 0.4%, and London lost 0.6% as sterling rose, which weighs on the share prices of multinationals earning in dollars.

In New York, the broad-based S&P 500 index lost 1.6%.

Stimulus plan

Investors remained focused on the chances for more US fiscal stimulus ahead of the November 3 presidential election as President Donald Trump trails far behind his Democratic challenger, former vice president Joe Biden.

But time is dwindling for a spending package to boost the coronavirus-ravaged US economy: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday, October 18, there were less than 48 hours left to work out a deal that could be approved before the election.

“As time goes on, it’s less and less likely that we get the stimulus package before the election,” Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

“Why would the Democrats want to give the Republicans something to brag about?”

Trump has proposed a $1.8-trillion package and indicated he would go higher, while Democrats in the House of Representatives have approved a $2.2-trillion measure.

However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly signaled he would not support a massive package.

Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke again on Monday and “continued to narrow their differences,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said after markets closed.

“The Speaker continues to hope that, by the end of the day Tuesday (October 20), we will have clarity on whether we will be able to pass a bill before the election,” he tweeted.

In London, traders remained on edge over the possibility that Britain and the European Union will not reach a post-Brexit trade agreement after Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week said he was ready to walk away without one.

With the two sides blaming each other for a lack of movement, senior British minister Michael Gove on Sunday said he was still hopeful there would be a deal.

In Asia, investors digested news that China’s economy expanded at a slower rate than expected in July-September.

The 4.9% rate was short of the 5.2% tipped by analysts in an AFP poll, but it was a big improvement on the previous quarter.

Key figures around 9 pm GMT
  • New York – Dow Jones: DOWN 1.5% at 28,195.42 (close)
  • New York – S&P 500: DOWN 1.6% at 3,426.92 (close)
  • New York – Nasdaq: DOWN 1.6% at 11,478.88 (close)
  • London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.6% at 5,884.65 points (close)
  • Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.4% at 12,854.66 (close)
  • Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.14% at 4,942.62 (close)
  • Madrid – IBEX 35: UP 0.2% at 6,860.20 (close)
  • EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.4% at 3,242.51 (close) 
  • Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 1.1% at 23,671.13 (close)
  • Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.6% at 24,542.26 (close)
  • Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.7% at 3,312.67 (close)
  • Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1769 from $1.1718 at 9 pm GMT
  • Dollar/yen: FLAT at 105.40 yen
  • Pound/dollar: UP at $1.294 from $1.2915
  • Euro/pound: UP at 90.92 pence from 90.73 pence
  • West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.4% at $40.72
  • Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 1% at $42.49 per barrel


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