The optimism of investors supported the Wall Street indexes yesterday and the positive session spread to Asia. However, since the beginning of the European trading, the moods worsened and indexes turned down.
Beyond the ongoing US-China trade war, which has rocked global stock markets for much of 2018, investors remain concerned over Trump’s tirade against the Federal Reserve and Powell over the central bank’s monetary policy. The US government also remains in a partial shutdown as the president stands firm on his calls to obtain funding for his proposed border wall.
Asian markets recap
Shares in many Asian markets rose on Thursday, following the expansion of Wall Street.
Japanese blue-chip index Nikkei 225 grew by 3.88% to 20,077.62 points. The smaller index Topix, in turn, increased by almost 5%. Japan Display shares rose by nearly 6% after it became clear that iPhone XP sales were 32% of all Apple’s sales in the 30 days after its launch. The company is a manufacturer of display equipment for iPhone XP.
In Australia, the index S&P ASX 200 rose by 1.88% and ended the session at 5,597.20 points. An increase of 3.2% was recorded in the energy sector.
The South Korean index Kospi benchmark finished without significant change with a minimum growth of 0.02%.
Growth, however, comes amid declines in China, where markets are still under pressure due to the ongoing trade war. The index Shanghai Composite wiped out 0.61% and reached 2,483.09 points. The smaller benchmark Shenzhen Composite is down by 1.2% to 1,264.23 points.
In Hong Kong, the index Hang Seng also dropped by 0.72% to 25,467.48 points.
The decreases followed a decision by the management of the state-owned oil company Sinopec to fire two of its high-ranking managers. Hong Kong’s shares of the company fell by 4.7% and those in Shanghai by 6.75%.
European markets mid-session recap
German index DAX 30 is on negative territory, bucking the positive trend seen in global markets, with traders largely making cautious moves after holidays. The index DAX 30 is losing 1.53%, or 162 points, to 10,471.33 points at 11:00 GMT. The shares of the utility sector are the most prominent losers in the German market. Banks, chemicals, automobiles and insurance shares are also weak, while retail, technology and pharmaceuticals shares are edging higher.
French stocks were trading slightly higher in mid-session with an increase of 0.14% to 4,632.98 points. The stocks started with a sharp increase, but since the beginning of the session the trend is down and around 10:00 GMT even went in red.
British markets have had a volatile start to post-Christmas trading despite Wall Street bouncing back from recent woes to enjoy a record-breaking surge. The FTSE 100 opened about 0.5% higher on Thursday as London traders returned to their desks after Christmas but later gave up the gains to turn 0.8% lower by mid-morning partly thanks to falls for oil stocks such as BP. The index is trading at 6,637.71 points in mid-session representing a decrease of 0.73%.
Wall Street pre-session recap
Futures implied Thursday morning that US stocks were headed for declines when they open on Thursday. That pullback would do little to dent Wednesday’s post-Christmas surge for American stocks.
The futures on blue-chip index Dow Jones Industrial Average are falling by 392.00 points at 6:20 am ET, indicating a negative start of 362.45 points. The indexes S&P 500 and Nasdaq are also on red, indicating negative opening by 39.55 points and 115.27 points, respectively.