European stock markets fell back Wednesday as investors left the chaotic US presidential debate behind, while strong US jobs data helped the mood on Wall Street.
With the debate out of the way, the markets could switch their focus to more concrete topics, several analysts opined.
In London, investors had to digest data that confirmed Britain’s virus-hit economy collapsed by almost a fifth in the second quarter.
They pushed the FTSE 100 index into negative territory at the close of the day.
In New York, the Dow Jones index was 1.6 percent higher in midday exchanges following the release of positive job numbers in the private sector.
The payroll services firm ADP said that private US employers added 749,000 jobs in September as employment continues to rebound from the economic hit caused by the coronavirus.
Economists view the ADP data as a preview of the monthly Labor Department employment report due Friday that encompasses both private and government hiring.
ADP said that private-sector hiring was seen in businesses of all sizes, with services accounting for most of it.
“Traders are likely to key on economic data more than political developments, with the focus shifting to Friday’s highly-anticipated Non-Farm Payrolls report sooner rather than later,” noted Matt Weller, head of market research at GAIN Capital.
“The (US) jobs report on Friday will be very interesting, particularly against the backdrop of an exhaustive battle in Congress over the next instalment of critical economic aid,” agreed Craig Erlam, an analyst at the online brokerage Oanda.
Markets were encouraged by news that US Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had spoken for a second straight day with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over a much-anticipated stimulus package to rescue the battered US economy.
The pair have agreed to continue negotiating.
Earlier in the day, a Chinese purchasing managers index (PMI) also showed improvement in both manufacturing and services in September.
But that produced only mixed results in Asia, as the persistent gloom of rising virus infections continued to dampen the mood.
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.5 percent at 5,866.10 points (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.5 percent at 12,760.73 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.6 percent at 4,803.44 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.6 percent at 3,193.61
New York – Dow Jones: UP 1.6 percent at 27,902.51
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.5 percent at 23,185.12 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.8 percent at 23,459.05 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.2 percent at 3,218.05 (close)
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2913 from $1.2863 at 2100 GMT
Euro/pound: DOWN at 90.77 pence from 91.30 pence
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1721 from $1.1744
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 105.62 yen from 105.66 yen
West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.5 percent at $39.76 per barrel
Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.5 percent at $40.81 per barrel