Reuters - Asia share indexes got the week off to a hesitant start Monday as rising coronavirus cases in Europe and the U.S. undermined the world economic outlook. Meanwhile, China's leaders are meeting to consider its economic direction.
The U.S. has seen its highest ever number of new COVID-19 cases in the past two days while France also set case records and Spain announced a state of emergency.
That combined with no clear progress on a U.S. virus-aid bill pulled S&P 500 futures down 0.6%. Eurostoxx 50 futures fell 0.7% and FTSE futures 0.4%.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.1%. Japan's Nikkei was generally even and South Korea's main index lost 0.3%.
China blue chips shed 0.5% as the country's leaders met to chart the nation's economic course for 2021-2025, balancing growth with reforms within an uncertain world outlook and deepening tensions with the U.S.
A busy week for monetary policy sees three large central banks hold meetings. The Bank of Canada and Bank of Japan are expected to hold fire for now while the market assumes the European Central Bank will sound cautious on inflation and growth even if it skips further easing.
Data due out Thursday is forecast to show U.S. economic output rebounded by 31.9% in the third quarter, after the second's quarter's historic collapse, led by consumer spending.
Analysts at Westpac said such a bounce would still leave gross domestic product around 4% lower than at the end of last year, with business investment still lagging badly.
"To fully recover the activity lost, additional meaningful fiscal stimulus is a must," they said in a note.
The U.S. presidential election will again loom large as markets move to price in the chance of a Democratic president and Congress - which would likely lead to more government spending and borrowing down the road.
That outlook drove U.S. 10-year Treasury yields to their highest since early June last week at 0.8720%. They were trading at 0.83% Monday.
"We have raised the probability of a Democratic sweep, already our base case, from 40% to just over 50% and have increased our expectation of Biden to win from 65% to 75%," NatWest Markets said.
"We see steeper U.S. yield curves and a weaker dollar as likely to prevail in our base case."
The dollar was even Monday, having fallen broadly last week. The euro was holding at $1.1836 and just under its recent top of $1.1880 while the dollar was pinned at 104.86 yen and not far from last week's trough of 104.32.
The dollar index was at 92.904 after shedding almost 1% last week.
In commodity markets, gold edged down 0.1% to $1,898 an ounce.
Oil prices fell further in anticipation of a rise in Libyan crude supply and demand concerns caused by coronavirus cases in the U.S. and Europe.
Brent crude futures lost 73 cents to $41.04 a barrel while U.S. crude also fell 73 cents to $39.12.