Global stocks are mixed on Wednesday, while disappointing US employment and commercial data fueled anticipation of looser monetary policy. Trading was light ahead of the July 4 holiday in the US, where markets are closed.
The stock exchanges in the Asia-Pacific region ended the session mixed and the investors’ sentiment remained the same during the European session. Yesterday, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite both closed session at all-time highs after US private payrolls data fell significantly short of expectations. The US markets are closed today for Independence Day, so the focus of investors will be turned to Europe.
The nomination of IMF chief Christine Lagarde to become the next president of the European Central Bank fueled positive sentiment. The European Council’s support of Lagarde, who has praised current ECB President Mario Draghi’s willingness to intervene in markets, raised traders’ hopes of lower interest rates as well.
Asian markets recap
The main stock indexes in the Asia-Pacific region ended today’s trading session mixed.
In China, the mainland index Shanghai Composite declined by 0.62% to 2,996.46 points and the Shenzhen component 0.55% lower to 9,368.30 поинтс. The Shenzhen composite also declined 0.548% to 1,591.24. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng wiped out 55.86 points, or 0.19%, ending the session at 28,799.28 points. The stocks of Alibaba Group declined by 0.45%.
In Japan, the blue-chip index on Tokyo Stock Exchange, Nikkei 225, added 64.29 points, or 0.30%, to 21,702.45 points. The shares of Sony Corporation rose by 1.94%, while Toyota and Honda fell by 0.13% and 0.15% respectively. The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (+3.66%), Softbank Group (+3.44%) and CyberAgent (+2.54%), while on the flipside were Fast Retailing (-1.78%), Taiheiyo Cement (-1.51%) and Toyo Seikan Group Holdings (-1.36%). The registration of candidates for the upcoming Upper House elections in the Japanese Parliament started today. The elections will be held on July 21. The ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expects to retain a majority, albeit with fewer seats. Shinzo Abe aims to make changes to the constitution, strengthening the positions of the Japanese defense forces.
The South Korean index Kospi advanced by 0.61% to 2,108.73 points. The stocks of Samsung Electronics gained 1.3%, while LG Display added 0.6%.
In Australia, the local index S&P ASX 200 rose by 0.49% to 6,718 points.
European markets mid-session recap
European stocks are mixed on Thursday, fluctuating near their highest level in more than a year, boosted by deal activity and gains in carmakers. The pan-European Stoxx 600 traded fractionally above the flatline with autos leading gains with a 0.8% climb while the utility stocks fell 0.9%.
German index DAX 30 is up by 8.76 points, 0.07%, to 12,625.00 points at 10:00 GMT. The stocks of Deutsche Bank fell sharply in the morning but later recovered the initial losses. The fluctuations came after reports that the bank is preparing a sweeping 5 billion EUR (5.6 billion USD) overhaul in the coming days that will see the ax fall heavily on its investment banking business. The shares of Volkswagen and Daimler are up by 0.62% and 0.8%, while pharmaceutical company Bayer is down by 0.6% and the chemical giant BASF is up by 0.7%.
French index CAC 40 is almost unchanged, declining by 0.01% to 5,618.22 points. The stocks of carmakers Renault and Peugeot climbed by 0.9%, while Air France KLM edged higher by 1.5%.
Italian index FTSE MIB rose by 0.5% to 22,012.77 points at mid-session trading. Italy averted European Union disciplinary action over its public finances Wednesday after convincing the European Commission that measures submitted this week would help bring its growing debt into line with EU fiscal rules. Shares of the bank Ubi Banca climbed 4.5%.
British blue-chip index FTSE 100 is up by 9.77 points, or 0.13%, to 7,619.09 points. The stocks of the mobile network operator Vodafone rose by 2%. Primark owner Associated British Foods was modestly higher, up 0.3%, after a mixed trading update.