Virus fears pressure U.S. stock markets, dollar ends mixed

21 Nov 2020

NEW YORK, New York – Wall Street closed weaker on Friday as concern over the raging coronavirus was offset by hopes for the development and distribution of a vaccine.

“There’s an ebb and flow to the market and the vaccine represents the hope,” Matthew Keator, managing partner at the Keator Group, a wealth management firm in Lenox, Massachusetts told Reuters Thomson Friday. “The time it will take to see it distributed and take effect reflects the reality of the situation. With the rising cases of the virus and the shutdowns at the state level that’s something the market is paying close attention to.”

The Nasdaq Composite fell 49.74 points or 0.42 percent to 11,854.97.

The Dow Jones industrials index closed 219.75 points or 0.75 percent lower at 29,263.48.

The Standard and Poor’s 500 declined 24.32 points or 0.68 percent to 3,557.55.

Foreign exchange markets were mixed. The euro wilted, closing out the day at 1.1859. The British pound remained robust at 1.3293. The Japanese yen was little changed at 103.81. The Swiss franc weakened to 0.9111.

The Canadian dollar was unchanged at 1.3084. The Australian dollar rose slightly to end the week at 0.7310. The New Zealand dollar strengthened to 0.6940.

On overseas equity markets, in London, the FTSE 100 advanced 0.27 percent The German Dax rose 0.39 percent. In Paris, the CAC 40 was also up 0.39 percent.

On Asian markets, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell 106.97 points or 0.42 percent to close at 25,527.27.

The Australian All Ordinaries lost 2.80 points or 0.04 percent to 6,739.90.

China’s Shanghai Composite gained 14.64 points or 0.44 percent to 3,377.73.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 60.12 points or 0.23 percent to 26,417.09.