Global markets end 2018 on red, but the optimism is returning with an expected positive trading session.
The main topic during the trading session was the decline in China’s manufacturing activity in December. The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to 49.4 points, which is lower than 49.9 in 2017.
The focus of investors was also the statement of the US President Donald Trump on Saturday, in which he said he had held a “long, profitable telephone conversation” with the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping.
In his post on Twitter, Trump said that “work on the deal is progressing very well”.
The US president’s comments came a few weeks after the 90-day trade agreement reached between him and Xi Jinping in early December.
Meanwhile, the Italian parliament has approved the government’s 2019 budget after reaching a truce with Brussels.
Asian market recap
Stock exchanges in Hong Kong and Australia ended the year with declines, although Hang Seng managed to close the session on a green.
On the Chinese markets, the Shanghai Stock Exchange is on holiday, while Hong Kong’s index Hang Seng rose by 341.50 points, or 1.34%, to 25,845.70 points. Despite the positive results of today’s session, Hang Seng ended the year with a decline of 13.61%.
In Australia, the local benchmark S&P ASX 200 ended today on red territory, wiping out 0.14% of its value, ending the session at 5,646.40 points. The shares of major mining companies rose. Rio Tinto and Fortescue rose by 0.5% and 1.21% respectively, while BHP Billiton’s stock rose by 0.82%.
The Australian index S&P ASX also reported a year-on-year decline of 6.9%.
The exchanges in Japan and South Korea were closed.
European markets recap
European markets failed to find single direction in shorter trading session today. German and Italian markets were closed due to the holiday.
The UK blue-chip index ended its worst year since the 2008 financial crisis in the red, as a strong pound pulled down exporter shares, offsetting US President Donald Trump’s positive comments on the US-China trade dispute. The index FTSE 100 lost 0.1%, while the FTSE 250 added 0.2% on the final trading day of 2018, after a rally on Friday when they both closed more than 2% higher. British American Tobacco, GlaxoSmithKline, HSBC, Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser all dipped 0.4% to 2.7%.
The British index FTSE 100 has slid 12% in 2018, wiping 242 billion GBP from blue-chip stocks, as fears mount over a darkening outlook for global growth.
French stocks rose on Monday as the US President Donald Trump’s enthusiastic comments on the “big progress” in trade talks with China. The benchmark CAC 40 rose by 51.96 points, or 1.11%, to 4,730.69 points. Among the top gainers, Dassault Systemes, Kering, Peugeot and Renault were higher by 1-3%.
Wall Street pre-session recap
Wall Street stock index futures point to a higher open on Monday on growing optimism surrounding US-China trade talks.
At around 8:45 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures implied an increase of more than 209 points at the open. Futures for Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 also pointed to a higher open, indicating a rise of 18.76 points and 52.98 points, respectively.
However, despite the signs for a positive session, the year is shaping up as the worst since 2008 for the S&P 500, down 7%, and the Nasdaq Composite, off 4.6%.