Wall Street erased early gains on Wednesday, with tech shares suffering a sharp sell-off fueled by anxieties over escalating US-China tensions. Bloomberg reported that Washington is considering sanctions action against China over Beijing's plans to impose a new security law on Hong Kong, while President Trump warned that the city could lose its status as a financial hub. Meanwhile, efforts to reopen the global economy and prospects of a coronavirus vaccine helped to lift sentiment.
Oil prices extended losses to fall near 5% on Wednesday, with the WTI around $33.7 a barrel and the Brent crude around $34.5 a barrel amid renewed demand and supply concerns. European stocks ended in the green on Wednesday, with the DAX 30 advancing 1.3% to 11,656, its highest closing level since March 5th. The European Commission proposed.
The Brazilian economy lost a record 860,503 thousand jobs in April 2020, after shedding 240,702 in the previous month, amid the coronavirus crisis. All sectors recorded job losses: services (-362,378), trade (-230,209), general industry (-195,968), construction (-66,942) and agriculture, forestry & fishing (-4,999). Across regions, the Southeast led the decrease (-450,707), followed by the South (-202,805), Northeast (-126,834), Midwest (-56,057) and North (-27,069).
Considering the first four months of the year, the economy shed 763,232 jobs. On April 1st the federal government unveiled the Emergency Employment and Income Program, helping to preserve more than 8.1 million jobs in the country, the Ministry of Economy said. It was the first release of 2020 data as the publication was halted due to companies' difficulties to provide accurate and up-to-date information.
The Manufacturing Activity Index in the US fifth district including the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and most of West Virginia increased to -27 in May of 2020 from a record low of -53 in April. Still, the index remains at 2009-lows as COVID-19 pandemic forced many factories to halt the production. All three components – shipments (-26 from -70), new orders (-35 from -61) and employment (-16 from -21) - were above their April readings but still in contractionary territory. Meanwhile, the index for local business conditions was also negative, but contacts expected conditions to improve in the next six months.
Italy's 10-year government bond yield fell for a third day on Wednesday to 1.48%, its lowest on a closing basis since March 27th, amid expectations that EUR 173 billion from the EUR 750 billion EU recovery fund will be delivered to Italy, one of the most affected countries by the coronavirus epidemic. EUR 82 billion is expected to be financed by grants while EUR 91 billion by loans.