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Global Stocks Waver as Gold and Bitcoin Soar

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06/25/2019 | 09:19am EDT

By Will Horner

-- Allergan jumps almost 30% in early trading on AbbVie takeover

-- Gold rallied and government bond yields slipped

-- Bitcoin advanced, reaching a one-year high

U.S. stock futures slipped Tuesday, along with shares in Europe and Asia, as investors turned to haven assets such as Treasurys and gold.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 futures were both down roughly 0.1%. Shares of Allergan rose nearly 30% in premarket trading after AbbVie reached a deal to buy the company for more than $60 billion. The news prompted a 8% slide in AbbVie's stock.

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.1%, with French and German equities dragging down the benchmark. One of the few bright spots for investors was in Capgemini and smaller rival Altran Technologies: the stocks soared after the French companies agreed to merge, sending Altran shares up almost 22% while Capgemini advanced 7.4%.

Meanwhile, gold prices jumped to their highest level this year before paring back slightly to $1,426.10 a troy ounce. The precious metal has gained 13% so far in 2019.

Gold prices were rising because of "a positive cocktail of factors" from lingering global growth worries and U.S.-China trade tensions to escalating fears of a conflict between the U.S. and Iran, said Carsten Menke, a commodities analyst at Julius Baer.

"If you take everything together you have quite a bullish environment for gold. Then you have technical levels which have been broken like $1,380 or $1,400 and that's why we've had such a sharp rally," he said.

Bitcoin extended its gains, reaching a record for the past year as it again crossed the $11,000 threshold. The world's most popular cryptocurrency has soared 35% this month, boosted in part by the unveiling of Facebook's Libra digital currency for mainstream users last week.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.4%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 1.2% and China's benchmark Shanghai composite fell 0.9%.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note, which falls as the price rises, dropped to 2.013%, from 2.021% on Monday.

U.S. markets are gearing up for a busy day of speeches from Federal Reserve policy makers Tuesday as they look for clues on the course of U.S. monetary policy.

Investors this week have also largely held back from making big moves as their focus has shifted to the G-20 summit in Japan due to begin on Friday. A planned meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the summit is seen as a potentially crucial moment in the trade dispute between the two nations. The skirmish has roiled markets this year and threatened to further weaken the global economy, which has already shown signs of flagging after a long period of expansion.

"Prudence is still justified because obviously the bar is quite high for a truce between the U.S. and China on tariffs at this week's G-20," said Kenneth Broux, a senior strategist at Société Générale. "The danger is of course that everything ends in acrimony and the whole moves of the past week or so reverse if the U.S. decides to raise tariffs to 25% on the remaining $300 billion [of Chinese goods]."

The WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of its peers, was broadly flat.

Elsewhere in commodities, oil prices were mixed with global benchmark Brent crude shedding 0.2% to $64.02 a barrel, while U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate was down 0.1% at $57.82.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BITCOIN - UNITED STATES DOLLAR 0.04% 10753.127 End-of-day quote.180.81%
CHINA-SHANGHAI COMP 0.79% 2924.2 End-of-day quote.17.07%
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.25% 27154.2 Delayed Quote.16.40%
GOLD -1.22% 1425.38 Delayed Quote.12.54%
HANG SENG 1.23% 28787.64 Real-time Quote.11.38%
NASDAQ 100 -0.88% 7834.896756 Delayed Quote.24.87%
NASDAQ COMP. -0.74% 8146.488965 Delayed Quote.23.36%
NIKKEI 225 2.00% 21466.99 Real-time Quote.5.15%
S&P 500 -0.62% 2976.61 Delayed Quote.19.48%
US DOLLAR INDEX 0.37% 97.151 End-of-day quote.0.48%
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