European stocks and the US equity futures turned lower on Friday and the euro slumped after miserable data from the German manufacturing sector fueled worries about global growth.
Germany PMI manufacturing dropped sharply to 44.7, down from 47.6 and missed expectation of 48.0. If not for the services sector, the German economy should already be in recession. Forward-looking indicators are not encouraging with overall job creation at its lowest since 2016.
With optimism for a quick US-China trade deal starting to fade as the two sides haggle over nagging details, stock markets in the region need all the help they can get to keep the good times rolling.
Asian markets recap
Trade in Asian markets was cautious on Friday, while investors were trying to grasp the consequences of the US Federal Reserve’s softened monetary policy. The late-day turnaround put most benchmark stock indexes back into the green, from Japan to Korea and Australia. Thus the stocks reached 6-months peak on Friday after optimistic data in the US and the technology sector raised Wall Street moods. The investors relied on a positive turnaround from the Fed meeting, on which the reserve radically changed its tone for its future monetary policy.
The MSCI, which tracks the Asia-Pacific region without Japan, rose by 0.3%, driven by a 0.5% rise in technology companies.
The Chinese continental index Shanghai Composite fell by 0.77%, while the smaller Shenzhen Composite wiped out 1.092%. The CSI 300, which tracks the largest stock traded on the continent, decreased by 0.99%.
In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng failed to maintain its earlier growth and eventually ended down by 0.54%. Shares of technology giant Tencent fell by 1.27% after the company reported its slowest annual sales growth of 13 years.
The Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 was down by 0.11% after Fast Retailing fell to more than 1%. The smaller Topix index also dropped slightly. The stock movements are due to new data from today that showed that annual base consumer inflation in the country in February has slowed down. The consumer price index, which includes oil products but excludes volatile fresh food, rose by 0.7% in February on an annual basis, state data showed on Friday. This is slightly below the median market outlook for growth of 0.8%.
In South Korea, the Kospi index remained unchanged. The shares of technology giant Samsung Electronics and the chip-maker SK Hynix rose by more than 1%, keeping its inertia on Thursday.
At the same time, the Australian index S&P ASX 200 advanced 0.43% and most sectors ended up on the green territory.
European markets mid-session recap
German index DAX 30 is down by 40.24 points, or 0.35%, to 11,509.72 points at 10:45 GMT. The stocks of Allianz declined by 0.29%, while Deutsche Bank is down by 0.12%. The biggest losers in mid-session are Bayer and BASF, decreasing by 1.6% and 0.5%, respectively.
French index CAC 40 is trading with a decrease of 45 points, or 0.85%, to 5,332.88 points. The aircraft manufacturing Airbus wiped out 1.1%, while lenders BNP Paribas SA and Societe Generale decreasing by 1.5% and 1.9%, respectively.
London’s main stock index retreated from its five-and-a-half month high as exporter stocks took a hit from a stronger pound after the European Union granted Theresa May a short extension to get lawmakers behind her proposed Brexit agreement. The blue-chip index FTSE 100 is down by 0.99% to 7,282.26 points at mid-session trading. Weighing on the main index were the drugmaker AstraZeneca, which hit a high in the last session on the pound’s weakness; GlaxoSmithKline and Unilever.
Wall Street pre-session recap
Wall Street stock index futures fell Friday amid jitters sparked by the Federal Reserve’s cautious outlook for the world’s largest economy.
At around 6:50 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 91 points, indicating a decline of more than 100 points at the open. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were also down.
On the data front, manufacturing and services PMI data for March is due at around 9:45 a.m. ET. Wholesale trade figures for January and existing home sales for February will be released shortly afterwards, with the latest monthly federal budget data due at 2 p.m. ET.