Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
There a risk-off feel in the markets today, as the escalating Covid-19 pandemic overrides optimism that successful vaccine rollouts will help the world economy recover in 2021.
Wall Street suffered a late slide last night, with the Dow Jones industrial average dropping over 1% — down 344 points to 29,438.
And European stocks have just opened lower too, with investors fretting about just how tough the next few months will be. The Stoxx 600, which tracks shares across Europe, is down 0.8% at the start of trading, in what could be a nervy session.
The pandemic continues to escalate in the US; overnight, Johns Hopkins University has reported that more than 250,000 Americans have now died from Covid-19, another grim milestone in the crisis.
Total US infections now exceeding 11 million, with more than 76,000 people hospitalised with Covid across the country.
And in New York, schools are to temporarily halt after infection rates reached their highest level since the spring.
This has reminded the markets that we face months of rising deaths and economic disruption, which will see more businesses collapse and people lose their jobs.
Jim Reid of Deutsche Bank explains:
Whether it be outlooks or markets it’s all about vaccines and the virus at the moment. Risk assets actually slipped late in the US session, and closed at the lows (S&P 500 -1.16%), largely due to NYC school closures coming into force again today after the city’s positivity rate of first time Covid-19 tests rose over 3%.
In terms of the sectoral moves, every industry group in the US ended lower except for Autos (+1.14%), while the losses were led by Energy (-2.88%) and Utilities (-1.94%).
But the global situation is worsening too – Japan has recorded a record number of new daily coronavirus infections, including a new peak in Tokyo, while India is approaching 9m cases.
European stock markets are expected to drop back this morning, having hit multi-month highs back on Monday
- 8am GMT: ECB president Christine Lagarde testifies to the EU Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
- 11am GMT: CBI industrial trends survey of UK manufacturing in October
- 1.30pm GMT: US weekly unemployment statistics