Stock futures fall as China's Covid-19 cases rise

Stock futures fall as China’s Covid-19 cases rise

U.S. stock futures fell slightly and Chinese consumer stocks fell as investors feared a rise in Covid-19 infections in China could slow the reopening and delay the resumption of growth.

S&P 500 futures fell 0.6% on Monday. Contracts for the technology-focused Nasdaq-100 fell 0.8% and futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged down 0.3%.

Investors had hoped that signs of easing of Covid-19 containment measures would allow the country’s economic growth to resume, also benefiting the global economy. Several Chinese cities had said they would no longer carry out mandatory mass testing and lifted the requirement for residents to present proof of a recent negative test to enter public places.

Rising Covid-19 infections and reports of virus-related deaths for the first time in nearly six months have investors worried that China’s normalization may instead be further delayed.

“All eyes are on China,” said Hani Redha, portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments. “Any attempt to reopen is going to be tricky because we know the pattern with these things: you get a spike in cases. We haven’t even really started and there are already a lot of cases.

Shares of Hong Kong-listed Macau restaurants, retailers and casinos fell, while liquor makers lagged in China’s onshore market. Haidilao International Holding hot-pot restaurant operator ltd.

and Sands China ltd.

each fell more than 7% in Hong Kong trade. The city’s benchmark Hang Seng index fell 1.9%. China’s Shanghai Composite edged down 0.4%.

In premarket trading, Walt Disney shares jumped 8.6% after the entertainment giant replaced chief executive Bob Chapek with Robert Iger, the company’s former chairman and chief executive.

In energy markets, Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, fell 0.6% to $87.06 a barrel.

The Wall Street Journal’s dollar index, which measures the performance of the US currency against a basket of others, rose 0.7%.

In bond markets, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note climbed to 3.833% from 3.817% on Friday. Yields and prices move in opposite directions.

Traders worked on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.


Photo:

Justin Lane/Shutterstock

Overseas, the pancontinental Stoxx Europe 600 index fell slightly by 0.2%.

In cryptocurrencies, the dollar value of bitcoin has lingered at nearly $16,000 each. Pessimism over the outlook for digital assets has deepened following the rapid collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX. Investors fear bankruptcies among other companies are on the horizon.

Write to Caitlin Ostroff at caitlin.ostroff@wsj.com

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