Global stocks edged lower in cautious trade on Thursday as investors digested mixed earnings updates and looked ahead to another round of trade talks between the US and China beginning in Beijing next week.
The US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin will travel next week to China along with a Washington delegation for a new round of bilateral talks. He also described his recent meetings with Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Liu He as “very productive”.
Meanwhile, German industrial production unexpectedly shrank for the fourth consecutive month in December, fueling the fears that the temporary failures of the largest European economy may land longer. The poor demand and business moods stopped the inertia, while the unexpected fall in factory orders in the country at the end of last year also signs for future challenges.
Asian markets recap
The Asian markets ended the stock exchange session on Thursday without single direction despite the new commercial hopes amid ongoing Sino-American trade talks.
Japanese index Nikkei 225 dropped by 0.6% to 20,751.28 points, while the smaller Topix fell by 0.83%. The stocks of Softbank appreciation was not enough to improve market sentiment, although growth was close to 18% after the company announced its largest redemption of 600 billion JPY (5.46 billion USD).
Australian benchmark S&P ASX 200, in turn, added 1.1% to 6,092.50 points, with almost all of its sectors green. The financial sub-index added 1.75%.
South Korean index Kospi finished the session unchanged, with SK Hynix chip maker stocks rising by more than 1%.
Chinese stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, with major increases registered by the Software & Computer Services, Technology, and Technology Hardware & Equipment sectors. The Chinese continental index Shanghai Composite closed with an increase of 1.3% to 2,618.23 points, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.21% to 27,990.21 points.
The best performers of the session on the Shanghai Composite were EGing Photovoltaic Technology, which rose by 10.17%. Meanwhile, Beijing Jingyuntong Technology added 10.06% and Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Technology was up by 10.01%.
The best performers of the session on the Shanghai Composite were EGing Photovoltaic Technology Co Ltd (SS:600537), which rose 10.17% or 0.300 points to trade at 3.250 at the close. Meanwhile, Beijing Jingyuntong Technology Co Ltd (SS:601908) added 10.06% or 0.330 points to end at 3.610 and Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Technology Co Ltd (SS:600584) was up 10.01% or 0.890 points to 9.780 in late trade.
The worst performers of the Shanghai Composite were Baocheng Inves, which fell 10.01%. Y.U.D. Yangtze River Investment Industry declined by 9.93% and Anhui Quanchai Engine was down by 8.35%.
European markets mid-session recap
German stocks fell on Thursday as investors looked ahead to next week’s talks between the US and Chinese negotiators for directional cues. The benchmark DAX was down by 100 points, or 0.89%, to 11,224.03 points at 11:00 GMT. Travel and tourism firm TUI AG plunged 15% as it cut profit outlook, citing the extraordinarily hot weather in 2018 and continued weakness of the pound sterling. Siemens dropped by nearly 1% after the European Commission blocked its takeover of Alstom’s rail transport business. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen dropped over 1% after its third-quarter EBITDA (excluding restructuring result) declined to 39 million EUR.
French stocks edged lower in cautious trade on Thursday. The index CAC 40 dropped by 0.5% to 5,054.28 points at mid-session with oil and gas firm Total wiping out more than 1% of its market capitalization. Advertising and public relations company Publicis Groupe slumped over 12% after its fourth-quarter organic revenue missed estimates.
British index FTSE 100 dropped slightly by 0.12% to 7,164.73 points at 11:00 GMT. The London-listed shares of TUI AG slumped 18% to their lowest in nearly two years after the tour operator slashed its earnings forecast for the fiscal year, blaming warm weather and weakness in the pound. Advertising agency WPP tumbled 6.9% after its French rival Publicis Publicis Groupe reported negative revenue growth for the fourth quarter.
Wall Stree pre-session recap
Wall Stree stock index futures are edging lower on Thursday morning, as investors turned their focus to a slew of corporate earnings reports.
At around 6:00 a.m. ET, Dow futures indicated a drop of more than 116 points at the open. Futures of the S&P and Nasdaq were also lower in premarket trading, indicating a negative start of 13.36 points and 39.87 points.
On the data front, investors are likely to monitor initial job claims at 8.30 a.m. ET and consumer credit numbers at 3 p.m. ET.
A number of Fed members are also due to speak on Thursday. At 09:15 a.m. ET, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan will be taking part in a Q&A in Texas. At 7:30 p.m. ET, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard will be speaking on the state of the US economy in Minnesota.