NEW YORK, New York – A resurgence of Covid-19 in Europe resulting in a national lockdown to commence in Austria on Monday has investors on edge.
A spike in infections in Austria, Germany, Portugal, and the UK has officials worried. Even in Ireland where 89.1 percent of people over 12 are fully vaccinated, the country imposed a midnight curfew on nightlife, including nightclubs and pubs this week.
In Europe and the UK stock markets continued lower. In the U.S. however, while the Dow Jones tumbled, the Nasdaq finished higher, topping the crucial 16,000 level.
“We’ve been through wave after wave of Covid and different variations of it, and we’ve never really seen a big market sell-off because of it,” Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Baird told CNBC.
“Part of that is because of the rotation underneath the surface. The other part is that every single time, we learn more and more how to live with the virus and deal with it, and I just don’t think it’s a headline concern for market participants anymore,” he said.
Regardless, the Dow Jones was sold off, with the benchmark index ending down 268.97 points or 0.75 percent at 35,601.98.
The Nasdaq Composite, backed by a strong performance from Apple, pushed higher to close ahead 63.73 points or 0.40 percent at 16,057.44.
The Standard and Poor’s 500 dropped 6.58 points or 0.14 percent to 4,697.96.
On foreign exchange markets, dollar-buying was spurred on by the developing Covid crisis in Europe. The euro dived to a low of 1.1250 before recovering to 1.1290 approaching the New York close Friday. The British pound fell to 1.3447. The Swiss franc eased to 0.9284.
The Canadian dollar declined to 1.2648. The Australian dollar was softer at 0.7235. The New Zealand dollar fell sharply to 0.6996.
The Japanese yen, considered a safe-haven currency alongside the U.S. dollar, firmed to 113.99.
Overseas, the FTSE 100 in London gave up 0.45 percent. The Dax in Germany closed 0.38 percent lower. The Paris-based CAC 40 eased 0.42 percent.
On Asian markets, the Nikkei 225 in Japan jumped 147.21 points or 0.50 percent to 29,745.83.
The Australian All Ordinaries gained 16.70 points or 0.22 percent to 7,729.90.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong tumbled 269.75 points or 1.07 percent to 25,049.77.
China’s Shanghai Composite roze 39.66 points or 1.13 percent to 3,560.37.