Sector movers: Oil equipment and lenders' shares weaken on concern around second Covid-19 wave
Cyclicals were all lower at the end of the week as investors recoiled at the prospect that Covid-19 lockdown measures across the Continent might be tightened amid the renewed increases in the number of novel coronavirus infections.
Some market commentary also noted the possibility that the debate around who would replace the recently deceased Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the US Supreme Court might derail legislative efforts on Capitol Hill to pass a fourth fiscal stimulus package ahead of the elections.
Oil equipment and services issues were especially weak as November-dated Brent futures came under selling pressure due to the above.
Also dampening investor sentiment towards oil was news that Libya's National Oil Corporation was set to lift 'force majeure' at several of its oilfield and terminals following a recent deal between the warring sides in the country's long-running civil war.
However, a full lifting of the restrictions would require that soldiers and mercenaries linked to the LNA faction in the east of the country abandoned NOC facilities.
Selling extended to leisure stocks such as Games Workshop despite the prospect of increased demand for at-home entertainment on the back of renewed restrictions on mobility.
Lenders' shares were also pummelled following a leak to BuzzFeed of the confidential reports from banks around the world to the US Treasury, known as "suspicious activity reports", regarding potential money laundering activities by clients.
While in the case of at least some lenders the data was dated and already covered by previous settlements with US authorities, there was some 'market chatter' to be heard regarding the possibility that regulations on the sector might be tightened further.
"While the details of the FinCEN files highlight potential wrongdoing by the banks over a number of years, including having continued to facilitate suspicious transactions beyond filing the original suspicious activities report (SAR), it is not clear to us that this news represents a fresh reason to punish the banks involved or whether this is something that the authorities will have previously dealt with as it was information they already knew about," said analysts at ShoreCap.
Nonetheless, lenders' shares were already weak ahead of Monday's session in anticipating of a potential slowdown in the pace of the economic recovery over the next few quarters.
Anticipating the move perhaps, already during the previous session the US S&P 500 had dipped beneath a key level of short-term technical resistance, its 50-day moving average.
Top performing sectors so far today
Food & Drug Retailers 4,390.25 +1.31%
Alternative Energy 0.00 0.00%
Alternative Investment Instruments NULL 0.00%
Automobiles and related providers NULL 0.00%
Banking NULL 0.00%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Oil Equipment, Services & Distribution 4,046.18 -7.90%
Leisure Goods 23,370.41 -7.23%
Industrial Metals & Mining 3,333.40 -6.18%
Construction & Materials 6,029.29 -5.56%
Banks 1,762.43 -5.34%