Amazon.com warned of a possible second-quarter loss, while Apple omitted an earnings forecast for the first time in more than a decade. While global stocks posted their best month since 2011 in April — spurred by a slowdown in coronavirus infections and massive stimulus initiatives — earnings announcements and economic data are serving a reminder of lasting pain.
The dollar halted a four-day slide and Treasuries recouped some recent losses amid the risk-off tone Friday. The euro stabilised against the US dollar, while the dollar was down against the Japanese yen, trading at 106.88 yen . Another metric of distress in the markets — the Australian dollar — fell more than 1 per cent to 0.6438, its weakest since Tuesday. The yuan retreated.
Trading was limited by holidays across much of the Asian region, and most of Europe will also be shut.
London-listed stocks slipped as data showed the UK housing market was grinding to a halt. The FTSE 100 was down 2.1 per cent, wiping out gains posted earlier in the week on hopes of global economies reopening from weeks of lockdowns.
Another report said British manufacturers suffered the biggest fall in output and orders for at least three decades in April.
Strong results from Microsoft, Facebook and Tesla had limited losses on the tech-heavy Nasdaq gauges on Thursday. The S&P 500 Index posted its best month since 1987.
Investors continue to weigh a brutal economic picture against hopes for a coronavirus treatment and an eventual end to lockdown measures across the world. Data Friday showed South Korea’s exports plunged the most since the 2009, as did a gauge of Japanese manufacturing.
US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn said the agency is moving at “lightning speed” to review data on Gilead Sciences’ experimental Covid-19 treatment.
Meanwhile, oil headed for its first weekly gain in a month as global production cuts began to take effect.
MSCI's index of global stocks fell 0.4 per cent after a tumble late Thursday broke a six-day winning streak for the index. Australian shares fell 5%, their most in five weeks.
In a sign of the challenge ahead facing global policymakers, the European Central Bank said on Friday the euro zone economy is likely to rebound in the second half of this year but may fail to return to last year's level until as late as 2022 because of the pandemic.