NEW YORK (Reuters) – Shares dipped and the dollar ticked up near two-month highs on Wednesday as data reaffirmed lingering concerns that new restrictions to counter coronavirus infections will hurt the economic recovery.
The speed of recovery in U.S. business activity slowed down in September, with gains at factories more than offset by a retreat at services industries, suggesting a loss of momentum in the economy as the third quarter draws to a close and the COVID-19 pandemic lingers.
September surveys of private sector activity also painted a gloomy picture in Europe, with rising COVID-19 infections leading to a downturn in services industries.
U.S. stocks had opened higher, tracking Europe, but turned negative after the morning data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 5.87 points, or 0.02%, to 27,282.31, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 11.41 points, or 0.34%, to 3,304.16 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 67.08 points, or 0.61%, to 10,896.56.
In foreign exchange markets, the standout mover was the dollar, which touched its highest level since late July against a basket of six major currencies =USD.
“At present, the market is once again dominated by concerns about a second wave of infections, above all in Europe, meaning that the dollar is in demand again,” Commerzbank analysts wrote in a morning note.
The Japanese yen weakened 0.40% versus the greenback at 105.31 per dollar, while Sterling GBP= was last trading at $1.274, up 0.07% on the day.
Oil edged up supported by a report that U.S. fuel inventories fell, although rising crude supply and concern of stalling demand capped gains.
“Oil prices are still faring comparatively well today given all the headwinds they are facing – a firm U.S. dollar, concerns about demand, rising supply,” said Carsten Fritsch of Commerzbank.
Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last fell 6/32 in price to yield 0.6839%, from 0.664% late on Tuesday.
Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; additional reporting by Julien Ponthus and Alex Lawler in London and Lucia Mutikani in Washington; Editing by Nick Zieminski