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- Wall Street futures point to a mixed open on Tuesday
- Global equities climb Monday despite inflation pressures and a Delta variant surge
US stocks are returning to action today following a three-day long weekend in honor of Independence Day. Mixed results are on the board in pre-market futures trading as futures tied to the S&P500 wavered between gains and losses and are still floating right at the flatline. Nasdaq futures slid roughly 0.10%, while the Dow appears ready to kickstart the shortened week with gains as Dow futures are higher by around 0.10%.
Monday action across global markets delivered mixed results as traders and investors were trying to gauge a slew of positive economic data, coupled with a rising number of Delta variant cases and growing inflationary pressures.
The choppy market environment is magnified by nervousness about whether policymakers around the world will decide to tighten easy-money policies to curb rising prices.
Despite lingering inflation concerns, European bourses pushed higher yesterday. Fresh figures released Monday indicated that the euro zone’s services sector continued to expand and reached a 15-year high. Improving economic conditions in the euro area and the expectation of solid monetary support from the European Central Bank have bolstered investors’ appetite for shares across all sectors.
Major European bourses finished to the upside as the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 advanced for a third consecutive day. UK’s FTSE100 gained 0.58%, while France’s CAC40 added 0.22%. The German DAX climbed 0.08%. The broad Stoxx 600 benchmark rose 0.34%, or 1.55 points, to 458.36. The broad-market index hovers less than half a percent from its record high in mid-June
The UK Prepares to Lift Restrictions
Against the backdrop of a surge in Delta variant cases in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced yesterday that England is preparing to lift the majority of the Covid-19 restrictions. Mr. Johnson appeared for a news conference and said that the country was on track to remove almost all coronavirus-related curbs as planned on July 19.
The decision sparked concerns by medical experts given that the circulation of the new variant has resulted in a new surge of infections. New cases in the UK have climbed over 800% since June 1 when the confirmed infections were on a steady decline and reached a bottom of around 3,000. According to official data, more than 27,000 people have tested positive yesterday. Prime Minister Johnson should announce his final decision by July 12.
Still in the UK, switching to cryptocurrencies, the London-based bank Barclays has stopped UK customers from sending money to Binance. The cryptocurrency exchange came under fire last week when the Financial Conduct Authority issued a statement that said the digital asset exchange was not licensed to operate within the UK.
The price of bitcoin on Monday slid around 4%, while ether declined 5.7%. The cryptocurrency market is still struggling to recover from the aggressive selloff which wiped hundreds of billions from the market.
Meanwhile, Brent crude, the global gauge of oil prices, advanced 1.3% to $77.15 a barrel. Oil prices, in general, jumped to their highest level in three years after Opec and its allies decided to abandon a decision on increasing oil production. The catalyst for the decision was that Saudi Arabia and Russia could not convince the United Arab Emirates to back down on its production targets.
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