Markets were mildly risk-off on Monday as investors weighed strong economic data from China, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s stimulus plans and surging coronavirus trends. Carrefour SA tumbled six per cent, leading Europe’s Stoxx 600 lower, after Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. abandoned talks on a $20 billion merger.
The dollar ticked higher, while S&P 500 futures were little changed. U.S. financial markets were closed Monday for the Martin Luther King holiday. According to Bloomberg, in Asia, chip stocks and Huawei Technologies Co. suppliers dropped after Reuters reported that the U.S. is planning to revoke their licenses to work with the Chinese company. In Seoul, Samsung Electronics Co. fell 3.4 per cent. Asset managers are net short Treasuries for first time since 2017.
“Markets needed a breather or even a pull back to justify reflationary expectations,” said Ben Emons, managing director of global macro strategy at Medley Global Advisors. After a strong start to the year, global stock markets are losing steam as investor focus shifts to the upcoming earnings season and the difficult negotiations facing Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan. His proposals could be watered down under congressional opposition, and there’s the possibility that some taxes could rise.