Stocks slip, bitcoin extends record run

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Financial stock exchange market display screen board on the street
Financial stock exchange market display screen board on the street
  • Global stock markets mostly fell Wednesday on profit-taking after a strong global rally.
  • The Dow came off a record high at the start of trading on Wall Street, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite also moved lower after dipping on Tuesday.
  • Analysts said there was room for a drop in equities, but the general view is that they will resume their strong upward march as Covid vaccine rollouts.


Global stock markets mostly fell Wednesday on profit-taking after a strong global rally, with investors worried valuations may have gone too high.

The Dow came off a record high at the start of trading on Wall Street, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite also moved lower after dipping on Tuesday.

European stocks were lower in afternoon trade, with losses posted across most of Asia.

Oil prices meanwhile fell back, having recently hit 13-month highs.

Lifted in recent months by OPEC production cuts, there has been added support this week from a big freeze in Texas that has hammered output in the key US production state.

Bitcoin hit another record, at $51 719.10, having broken $50 000 for the first time on Tuesday.

The dollar rose Wednesday against the euro and pound, but dipped against the yen.

Analysts said there was room for a drop in equities, but the general view is that they will resume their strong upward march as Covid vaccine rollouts, slowing infection rates and the easing of lockdowns allow economies to return to normal.

The focus was firmly on Washington, where US lawmakers ponder the next move on President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package, the prospect of which has been a key driver of a months-long surge in global equities.

Bets that the vast spending splurge will hand an extra boost to the world's top economy - and the prospect of business reopenings - have also fired inflation expectations, sending US Treasury yields close to one-year highs this week.

That has led to concerns about rising borrowing costs, which market-watchers fear could undercut the recovery and hit consumer spending.

"The move up in yields has been driven by increasing inflationary concerns amid a rise in energy prices along with the prospect of a big US fiscal stimulus and the global recovery entering a more solid stage," said National Australia Bank's Rodrigo Catril.

Meanwhile Briefing.com's Patrick J. O'Hare noted "that the incessant rise in stock prices has been pricing in the recovery already" and the bond market was now pricing in a recovery as well.

"A quick rise in rates could put a freeze on some of the hot growth stocks," he warned, however.

British inflation meanwhile climbed to 0.7% last month from 0.6% in December on higher food prices, the Office for National Statistics said Wednesday.

Analysts expect British inflation to rise strongly in the coming months with the UK economy tipped to emerge from its latest coronavirus lockdown.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
13.81
-0.2%
Rand - Pound
19.46
-0.1%
Rand - Euro
16.75
-0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.62
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.3%
Gold
1,865.50
-0.0%
Silver
27.66
-0.7%
Palladium
2,759.47
+0.1%
Platinum
1,159.00
-0.8%
Brent Crude
72.86
+0.2%
Top 40
61,434
-0.4%
All Share
67,725
-0.3%
Resource 10
65,010
-0.9%
Industrial 25
88,424
+0.2%
Financial 15
13,638
-0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Have you noticed a difference in the voices of women compared to men in virtual meetings?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, there is a difference.
27% - 53 votes
No, I haven't noticed it.
64% - 128 votes
A bad internet connection worsens it.
9% - 18 votes
Vote