Global stocks mixed as coronavirus cases rise in several countries

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Investors were pleased by Apple's announcement of major changes to its technology

New York (AFP) - European and Asian bourses retreated Monday on higher coronavirus cases in several countries, but US stocks bucked the trend, boosted by Apple and other technology companies.

After the past week's broadly positive showing for stocks, traders had turned cautious on news of a jump in fresh virus cases across US states including California, Arizona and Florida.

On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the rate of increases in the state was "unacceptable" as he promised a crackdown of bars and other places where crowds have gathered, the Texas Tribune reported.

Next door to Texas, Louisiana paused its reopening plans at "phase two" due to an uptick in cases.

China, Australia, Germany and Japan are also battling new outbreaks, with some reintroducing containment measures.

Key European markets were down more than half a percent at the closing bell on the news of rising cases in parts of the United States.

Wall Street spent part of its session in the red, before ultimately shrugging off the weakness as New York City moved to a new phase of reopening after suffering the worst COVID-19 crisis in the country earlier this spring.

"What is vital for the economy is whether governments reimpose wide-sweeping lockdowns. With the overall count low globally, that's unlikely, whereas proximity or soft lockdowns like in Beijing" were more probable, said Stephen Innes at AxiCorp.

But he did say that the fresh infections were "providing a somber reality check, not only thwarting bullish ambitions, but investors are re-focusing on the negative economic consequences that could linger for some time."

The Nasdaq led the major indices, jumping 1.1 percent to a fresh record following new technology announcements from Apple.

The tech giant announced that it would build its own chips for its Mac computers. Chief executive Tim Cook said the move represents "a huge leap forward for the Mac," which would get a more powerful and energy-efficient system that operates more like Apple's mobile devices.

Among other companies, the value of Wirecard stock continued to plunge as what could be one of the biggest financial fraud cases in recent years continued to unfold.

The payments firm admitted 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) that auditors say are missing from its accounts likely "do not exist."

Key figures around 2040 GMT

New York - Dow: UP 0.6 percent at 26,024.96 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.7 percent at 3,117.86 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 1.1 percent at 10,056.91 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.8 percent at 6,244.62 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.6 percent at 12,262.97 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.6 percent at 4,948.70 (close) 

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.8 percent at 3,241.69 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.2 percent at 22,437.27 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.5 percent at 24,511.34 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.1 percent at 2,965.27 (close)

West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.8 percent at $40.46 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: UP 2.1 percent at $43.08

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1259 from $1.1178 at 2100 GMT on Friday

Dollar/yen: UP at 106.90 from 106.87 yen

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2465 from $1.2350

Euro/pound: DOWN at 90.32 pence from 90.51 pence