Global stocks are mixed on Monday as investors digested better-than-expected jobs data in the US and reports of progress in trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing.
One of the main topics during the first trading session of the week was the news of the rise in new jobs in the US in March, which increased 6 times to 196,000.
Data is a good signal for markets after dark February when jobs were just 33,000, and economists wondered if decade-long economic expansion is coming to an end. Unemployment in the United States remains close to its lowest level of 49 years – 3.8%, which corresponds to analysts’ expectations.
Asian markets recap
The main indexes on the Asia-Pacific ended the first session of the week mostly with increases, amid the strong US labor market data and the news of progress made on US-China trade talks.
Chinese mainland index Shanghai Composite declined slightly by 0.05% to 3,244.81 points, while the Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng added 102.65 points, or 0.34%, to 30,038.97 points.
In Japan, the local blue-chip index Nikkei 225 reported a decline of 45.85 points, or 0.21%, to 21,761.65 points. The car makers Toyota Motor and Honda Motor stocks rose by 0.38% and 0.04% respectively. The stocks of Sony Corp added 1.29%, and those of Canon rose by 0.24%.
Earlier today, Bank of Japan downgraded its economic growth estimate for three out of the nine island regions due to the broad negative range of subdued demand beyond the ocean, which seriously affected Japan’s export and manufacturing industry. Bank Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said that growth in the economy would continue to moderate with a steeper rise in domestic demand, offsetting the weakness in exports.
The South Korean index Kospi advanced by 0.04% to 2,210.60 points. A major focus of Korean investors was the news of the death of the former chairman of Korean Air Lines, Cho Yang-ho. He was held accountable for numerous charges, including illegal embezzlement and tax evasion, and his death came two weeks after shareholders voted to remove him from the board after a series of scandals accompanying the company’s management. The family of Cho Yang-ho faced strong criticism after company officials said they had been brutally treated. The shares of Korean Air Lines and Hanjin Transportation, where Cho also served as chairman, rose by 2% and 4% respectively.
In Australia, the local S&P ASX 200 added 0.65% to its value, ending the session at 6,221.40 points.
European markets mid-session recap
European stocks opened broadly lower on Monday following a week of strong gains, as dismal German trade data hurt automakers and software company SAP dragged the tech sector lower after it announced another departure in its top management.
German index DAX 30 index fell by 0.3% to 11,954.42 points at 11:05 GMT, breaking a seven-day winning streak – its longest since October 2017. Earlier, the data showed that German exports and imports fell more than expected in February, the latest sign that Europe’s biggest economy will likely post meager growth in the first quarter. Auto stocks underperformed after a near 7% surge last week. BMW, Daimler declined, with both facing possibly hefty fines after EU antitrust regulators charged them with colluding to block the rollout of clean emissions technology. Continental AG fell by 1.7% as Kepler Cheuvreux downgraded the auto parts maker to “hold” from “buy”. Meanwhile, the software company SAP wiped out 1.7% after the executive board member and President of the Cloud Business Group Robert Enslin decided to resign.
French index CAC 40 is trading with a decrease of 0.07% to 5,472.53 points at mid-session. The stocks of Renault and Peugeot are down by 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively. Meanwhile, the shares of aircraft manufacturer Airbus climbed by 1.2%.
Britain’s main index lost ground on Monday after rounding off a solid week while investors awaited fresh updates on the Brexit process, and industrials slipped on a read-across from Boeing cutting 737 aircraft production. The FTSE 100 recovered after the initial fall, inching higher by 0.03% to 7,448.83 points. Financial stocks were the biggest drags in early deals, while the world’s largest caterer Compass slipped 1.3% after a Bernstein rating downgrade.
Wall Street pre-session recap
Wall Street stock index futures were lower Monday morning, with market participants worried about what is likely to be a tough earnings season.
At around 06:20 a.m. ET, Dow futures indicated a negative open of about 90 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were both marginally lower.
On the data front, factory orders for February will be published at around 10 a.m. ET.