Global stocks and US futures fell on Tuesday ahead of data that will show consensus badly missed its expectations on retail sales amid global concern that more lockdowns are becoming necessary to contain a fast-spreading pandemic compounding the risks posed by any tapering of Federal Reserve stimulus, regulatory clampdowns by China and travel curbs. New Zealand discovered a positive case and announced a lockdown, sending the NZD plunging amid expectations the RBNZ’s rate hike plans had been crashed At 730 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 208 points, or 0.59%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 20 points, or 0.45%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 54.25 points, or 0.35%.
Global equities started the week on the backfoot as tighter scrutiny of China’s internet sector and signs of slowing economic recovery, particularly in China, drove investors towards defensive parts of the market. A stronger dollar and a slide in Treasury yields underscored the risk-off mood Tuesday. Gold rose for a fifth day and oil declined.
In an ominous development overnight, New Zealand officials said they were investigating a Covid-19 case, triggering a tumble in the currency and bond yields. Australia’s dollar slid after the central bank signaled it’s ready to act if lockdowns take a bigger economic toll.