European stocks and US equity futures nudged lower alongside Asian shares on Friday as earnings season continued apace. The dollar steadied before the release of first-quarter American growth data.
Banks and miners fell, outweighing gains in healthcare companies to drag the major indexes into the red.
Market focus is largely attuned to economic developments, amid speculation that figures later in the session could show the US economy outperforming the rest of the developed world. A string of robust numbers for the world’s largest economy has prompted analysts to revise up their forecasts for expansion and the latest poll is for annualized growth of 2%. Official US GDP data is expected to be published at around 8:30 a.m. ET, with consumer sentiment figures for April, set to follow slightly later in the session.
Asian markets recap
Most of the indexes in the Asia-Pacific region closed the trading session with decreases amid an unexpected tumble in Japanese industrial production.
Japanese index Nikkei 225 fell on Friday following disappointing earnings from high-tech firms and as market players wound down for a 10-day holiday to celebrate the enthronement of Crown Prince Naruhito. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.22% to 22,258.73 points. For the week, the index rose 0.26%, its fourth straight week of gains. The stocks of Anritsu, one of the best performing shares in the past two years on hopes of 5G-related demand, tumbled 12.8% after its cautious earnings guidance and disappointed investors. Nintendo closed 1.3% lower after the gaming giant offered conservative earnings guidance and urged caution on the roll-out of its Switch console in China. Zozo was down by 9.3% at the close as the market digested its latest earnings. The online fashion retailer said it expects profits to recover in the current fiscal year after booking its first-ever annual drop in earnings.
The smaller Japanese index Topix finished 0.15% lower at 1,617.93 points.
China stocks on Friday were on track to post their steepest weekly decline since October 2018, as investors feared the pace of Beijing’s supportive measures would drop amid signs of economic stabilization, and over Sino-US trade concerns. The mainland index Shanghai Composite fell by 1.2% to 3,086.40 points, while for the whole week the accumulated decline was 6.4%. The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Guangdong Rongtai Industry Co, up 10.08%, followed by Ningbo Construction Co, gaining 10.07% and Flat Glass Group Co, up by 10.03%.
South Korean index Kospi fell by 0.51% to 2,179.31 points. For the week, the index recorded a decline of 1.76%. After suffering from the worst annual slump in a decade amid trade war concerns and chip sector turmoil, investors in South Korea’s stock market now have even more reasons to worry. About two-thirds of the 50 mostly large-cap Kospi index firms that have announced first-quarter earnings since early this week have missed analysts’ estimates. The stocks of LG Display and SK Hynix fell by 0.5% and 2%, while Samsung Electronics climbed 0.45%.
European markets mid-session recap
European stocks opened into the red on Friday morning, as market participants prepared for another flurry of corporate earnings.
German index DAX 30 is down by 15.02 points, or 0.12%, to 12,267.58 points an hour after opening. The stocks of Deutsche Bank are down by 3.36% today despite reporting a stronger-than-expected first-quarter net profit after revenues were down for the quarter by 9%.
French index CAC 40 fell by 0.04% to 5,555.18 points. The country’s consumer confidence held steady in April at an eight-month high. The index was unchanged from March at 96 points, the highest reading since August last year. The stocks of Renault jumped by 2% at opening deals after the carmaker announced its proposal to Nissan setting up a joint holding company.
British blue-chip index FTSE 100 sank deep into red at the opening on Friday, falling by 0.32% to 7,407.84 points. The stocks of Glencore fell by 3.35% after disclosing an investigation by the US Commodity FuturesTrading Commission into possible corrupt practices which may have led to potential violations of some regulations. The mining company Ferrexpo wiped out 19.15% of its market cap after Deloitte abruptly quit as its auditor. Royal Bank of Scotland skidded 5.2% and was on track for its worst day in more than five months after intensifying competition and Brexit uncertainty hurt quarterly profit. The oil giants BP and Shell were among the biggest drags on the main bourse after an oil price dip.
Wall Street pre-session recap
Wall Street stock index futures were slightly lower Friday morning, as market participants prepared for another deluge of corporate earnings and awaited key economic data.
At around 03:45 a.m. ET, Dow futures slipped 35 points, indicating a negative open of more than 43 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were both seen marginally lower.