Global shares fell on Friday, hit by delays to an agreement on divisive details of the European Union’s stimulus package and doubts about progress in the development of drugs to treat COVID-19.
MSCI’s All Country World Index, which tracksstocks across 49 countries, was down 0.3 per cent and heading for itsworst week in three, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacificshares outside Japan fell 0.9 percent.
European stocks were 0.3 per cent lower, with London’s FTSE100 shedding 0.6 percent as data showed UK retail sales crashed in March.
“It’s a negative session,” said François Savary, chief investment officer at Swiss wealth manager Prime Partners. “The market for the last week has been under consolidation after a strong rally. A lot of good news has already been priced in and news that the number of deaths had increased in the US was also a warning sign for investors.”
But prices were headed for their third weekly loss and the outlook remains dim because global energy demand has evaporated due to business closures and travel curbs aimed at slowing the pandemic. In addition, some countries are running out of space to store the crude oil that they are not using.
EU leaders’ agreement on the emergency fund helped liftItalian government bond yields. Short-dated Italian bond yields jumped 12 basis points . Italy’s 10-year bond yield was up 7 bps at 2.08 percent and the closely-watched Italian/German 10-year bond yield gap was 14 bps wider from late Thursday levels at around 252 bps, erasing Thursday’s narrowing.
The US dollar gained as the euro fell 0.2 percent against thegreenback to $1.07980 and 0.2 percent versus the yen at 116.17 yen.