The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell to its lowest since May due to concerns over the faster spread of the coronavirus on the continent. BP Plc warned of many challenges ahead as the pace of the recovery in oil demand remained uncertain.
Shares have been rocked in recent weeks by speculation about whether lawmakers will pass a fiscal stimulus package, but with almost no possibility of that happening before the Americans vote on November 3, investors were looking for a new insight of the health of American companies. A report on U.S. consumer confidence was worse than expected on Tuesday as the coronavirus infects tens of thousands of Americans daily and weighs on the economy.
“The number of COVID cases and hospitalizations continue to rise – they will continue to be watched closely as investors assess the likelihood of more stringent mitigation measures,” said Yousef Abbasi, Global Market Strategist at StoneX .
Elsewhere, the dollar slipped and Treasury yields fell. Crude oil soared as U.S. Gulf producers shut down production ahead of Tropical Storm Zeta. Bitcoin rose to US $ 13,500, approaching levels not seen since just after the cryptocurrency market bubble burst almost three years ago.
Here are the main market movements:
The S&P 500 Index added 0.1 percent at 12:23 p.m. New York time.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.7 percent.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2%.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.3%.
The British pound rose 0.4 percent to US $ 1.3074.
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.4 percent to 104.42 per dollar.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell two basis points to 0.78%.
Germany’s 10-year yield fell three basis points to -0.61 percent.
Britain’s 10-year yield fell four basis points to 0.23 percent.
West Texas Intermediate crude added 2.5 percent to US $ 39.51 a barrel.
Gold strengthened 0.4 percent to US $ 1,909.54 an ounce.