Global stocks are mostly down on Friday amid continuing Sino-American trade tensions and the announced new early general elections in Italy. Asian stocks were mixed, but Europe and Wall Street are lower.
Italy’s coalition government imploded on Thursday, as deputy prime minister and leader of Italy’s ruling Lega party, Matteo Salvini, declared the arrangement unworkable and called for fresh general elections.
Asian markets recap
Stock markets in the Asia-Pacific region are mixed on Friday despite a steady Wall Street recovery. Investors remain cautious amid a pending trade dispute between China and the US. According to media reports, the US government now intends to delay its decision to restart US companies doing business with the technology giant Huawei. The reason is the recent announcement by Beijing that it is suspending imports of American agricultural products.
In China, the mainland index CSI 300 fell by 1% to 3,633.42 points. In Hong Kong, Hang Seng dropped by 0.3% to 26,043.99 points. The daily mass protests in China’s Special Administrative Region against city government continue to cause great uncertainty. However, surprisingly strong export data from China stabilized the exchange rates.
In Japan, the blue-chip index on Tokyo Stock Exchange, Nikkei 225, rose by about half a percent to 25,684.82 points, while Topix remained in the profit zone with a plus of 0.35%. In the last trading days, the yen went up, as it automatically makes Japanese goods more expensive for foreign buyers. But the currency started to fall again. Japan’s economy grows for the third consecutive quarter by 1.8% year-on-year between April and June. However, the pace of growth has slowed after the world’s third-largest economy reported a 2.8% growth in the first three months of the year. On a quarterly basis, GDP increased by 0.4% over the period. Gas and oil company Inpex Corp was one of the leaders in Japan with an increase of 2.7% after reporting a 41% gain in profit in the second quarter. The cosmetics company Shiseido also reported significant growth – by 8.8% following reports of growing sales success, especially in the Chinese market. Among the losers was Shinsei Bank with a decline of more than ten percent after investor JC Flowers & Co has announced it will sell 700 million USD worth of stock to the bank.
South Korean index Kospi gained 0.89% to 1,937.75 points.
In Australia, the local benchmark S&P ASX 200 is up by 0.25% to 6,584.40 points. The best performers of the session were James Hardie Industries PLC (+14.05%), AMP Ltd (+11.56%) and Orocobre Ltd (+10.26%), while on the flipside were Mirvac Group (-3.24%), Resolute Mining Ltd (-3.16%) and Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd (-2.56%).
European markets mid-session recap
European stocks slid on Friday as Italy descended into political chaos with Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini calling for a snap election. The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell by 0.37% s other big European indices also declined
The German DAX 30 is down by 0.90% to 11,738.98 points at 13:20 GMT. The chemical company Bayer added 1.82% as it proposed to pay 8 billion USD to settle more than 18,000 lawsuits because of claims that its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer. Investors welcomed a potential settlement as the number of plaintiffs continues to mount.
French CAC 40 is down by 0.56% to 5,357.88 points. Carmakers Renault and Peugeot declined, wiping out 1.34% and 1.83%, respectively.
The British blue-chip index FTSE 100 stalled at 7,293.07 points. Advertising giant WPP rose by 8.00% after the company’s half-year results convinced investors its turnaround was on track. A 2% fall in like-for-like sales was better than expected and the company also eased its decline in the U.S. and stuck to its full-year guidance.
Wall Street early-session recap
Wall Street indexes opened the Friday’s trading session with declines. The blue-chip index Dow Jones Industrial Average edged lower by 39.06 points, or 0.15%, to 26,339.13 points at 09:40 a.m. ET. Meanwhile, the broader S&P 500 and the technology Nasdaq Composite are down by 0.3% and 0.43%, respectively.
Overnight, Bloomberg reported that the U.S. is holding off on giving permission to US companies to use Huawei products, citing people familiar with the matter. Chip stocks fell on the news. Micron Technology and Skyworks Solutions both traded more than 1% lower while Advanced Micro Devices slipped 0.9%.
Stocks have had a volatile week, with the major indexes recording their biggest one-day sell-off of the year on Monday. The indexes recovered some of those losses on Tuesday.