GLOBAL MARKETS-Wall Street mixed after rising jobless claims cooled risk-taking
* Dow drops due to increase in jobless claims
* The ECB pledges to keep rates at record levels
* Oil extends gains on tight supply expectations (updates as US markets open)
NEW YORK, July 22 (Reuters) – U.S. markets were mixed on Thursday as a report showed jobless claims rose last week as the country continues to consider the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and returns on safe-haven assets as US Treasuries were little changed.
The Dow Jones and S&P 500 fell in response to two-month highs in the number of Americans filing new jobless claims. The dollar was also off recent highs in response to the news.
“The jobless claims data released this morning was weak and continues to be stubbornly high,” said Sean Bandazian, investment analyst for Cornerstone Wealth. “The market is probably digesting some volatility over the past few days. We had a pretty big drop and then a recovery that recovered 75% of what we lost on Friday and Monday. “
There has been an increase in jobless claims in California, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri and Texas. Some of those states have seen an increase in the number of new coronavirus cases as the more contagious Delta variant spreads.
Still, the Department of Labor’s weekly jobless claims report showed more people are returning to work, a trend that bodes well for the July jobs report.
In Europe, stocks hit near-life highs on Thursday after the European Central Bank pledged to keep interest rates at record highs for even longer to help the struggling eurozone economy recover from COVID-19.
The STOXX index of 600 major European stocks gained 1% to 458.52 points, a striking distance from its all-time high of 461.38 points reached last week.
By late morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 57.14 points, or 0.16%, to 34,740.86, the S&P 500 lost 2.84 points, or 0.07%, to 4,355, 85 and the Nasdaq Composite added 17.39 points, or 0.12%, to 14,649.34.
The dollar index rose 0.099%.
US Treasuries were largely flat. The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell two basis points to 1.262%.
Earlier this week, a renewed appetite for riskier assets surfaced as concerns eased that the Delta variant of COVID-19 would seriously harm the economic recovery, helping to push up crude oil prices .
“Markets are caught in a pincer movement between concerns about higher inflation and weaker growth and this will continue,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.
Oil rose, extending the solid gains made in previous sessions on tight supply expectations until the end of the year as economies recover from the pandemic.
US crude recently rose 0.83% to $ 70.88 a barrel and Brent was at $ 72.83, up 0.83% on the day.
The MSCI All Country equity index rose 0.25%.
Gold added 0.1% to $ 1,805.81 an ounce.
Cryptocurrencies were firm after rebounding from lows when Tesla boss Elon Musk said the automaker would likely resume accepting bitcoin payments after a due diligence of its energy use.
Bitcoin rose 0.5% to $ 32,354.
In Asia, the largest MSCI index of Asia-Pacific equities excluding Japan closed up 1.2%.
Additional reports by Sujata Rao-Coverley and Tom Westbrook; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Steve Orlofsky