Stocks fall, but the dollar is strong as U.S. payrolls are looming

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Stocks had a slow start to the second quarter of 2021, with Asia seeing a dip due to worries about new coronavirus infections. Bond markets were also on edge, and the dollar climbed ahead of U.S. labour statistics.

After a month-end selloff in Europe, equity futures showed a slight bounce with Euro Stoxx 50 futures rising 0.4% while FTSE futures rose 0.1%, while FTSE futures climbed 0.1%, while FTSE futures jumped 0.1%, while FTSE futures tripped water at record high levels, while S&P 500 futures were up about 0.15%.

Japan’s Nikkei dropped 0.3% in Asia, while the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.4%.

The U.S. Dollar climbed to a four-month peak of $1.1839 per Euro and a fifteen-month peak of 111.18 Japanese yen.

Rob Carnell, an ING economist, said that the virus was still playing a role… even though it’s hard to see much direction at the moment.” He spoke from Singapore via phone.

He said that there is a general consensus that the dollar is not a bad currency to hold. Traders turned to U.S. employment data due Friday to get the next clue about the Federal Reserve’s rate outlook.

“Everyone is a little bit nervous.”

China’s equities celebrated the centenary celebrations of the Communist Party with a slight rise. However, a nationalist address by President Xi Jinping at Tiananmen Square didn’t do much to calm geopolitical nerves, and the yuan weakened a little.

Data in Asia also showed mixed results. The mood of Japanese manufacturers was at its highest level in two-and-a half years, but activity in the region is slowing down, especially in Vietnam and Malaysia, due to a resurgent pandemic.

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