The increase in the number of coronavirus infections in the United States has led to the sell-off of stock indices worldwide. The Nasdaq index fell from record levels because investors fear a potential second wave of the disease.
Florida, Arizona, Texas and California have reported record increases in infections, and the authorities are preparing to better enforce social distancing guidelines and other COVID-19 containment measures. The scale of the increase is so worrying that further restrictions may be imposed again. Meanwhile, the number of deaths in Latin America has exceeded 100 000, according to Reuters. In turn, the New York Times reported that the European Union is prepared to ban Americans from travelling, placing US citizens in the same category as Brazil and Russia because of the large scale of the virus's spread.
The latest improved economic data was toned down by the European Central Bank's chief economist, Philip Lane, who warned that the euro zone economy would need a long time to recover from the crisis in spite of several solid data from recent days. Moreover, the US is considering export duties of 3.1 billion dollars on products from the UK, France, Spain and Germany as retaliation for government subsidies to Airbus..
As if that were not enough, the International Monetary Fund said it now expects global GDP to contract by 4.9% this year, much more than the 3.0% contraction projected in April. The IMF has also limited the prospects for recovery in 2021 to 5.4% compared to 5.8% in its April forecast.
Futures contracts for US stock indices are falling this morning. Futures on Dow Jones are down by almost 1.3%, on S&P 500 by 1.2% and on Nasdaq 100 by almost 0.9%. This seems to be a continuation of yesterday's falls, which are also visible on the European exchanges.
Daniel Kostecki, Chief Analyst Conotoxia Ltd.
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