Global stocks edged modestly lower on Tuesday, as investors awaited the outcome of the second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in Vietnam. The summit, due this week, will be focused on the denuclearization agreement that Trump and Kim signed in the Singapore summit last summer.
Also, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will testify before a US Senate committee later in the day, with investors awaiting fresh clues about the outlook for the US interest rates. Powell is expected to stick to a patient stance on rate hikes, reflecting “muted” inflation and geopolitical uncertainties.
Meanwhile, Germany’s consumer confidence is set to hold steady in March, amid the sustained sharp decline in economic expectations and stable income expectations, survey data from the GfK revealed. The forward-looking consumer confidence indicator showed a reading of 10.8 for March, the same as in February. The outcome was in line with economists’ expectations.
Asian markets recap
The main stock indices in Asia ended today’s session with declines, while investors continue to watch cautiously on developments in trade talks between Washington and Beijing. On the other hand, traders were acting cautiously in anticipation of the forthcoming statement of Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell in front of the Senate Banking Committee later today.
On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the blue-chip index Nikkei 225 declined by 78.84 points, or 0.37%, to 21,449.39 points. The shares of the technology company Fanuc fell by 1.4%, while those of the automotive giants Toyota and Honda added 0.48% and 0.78%, respectively.
In China, the continental index Shanghai Composite reported a decline of 0.67% to 2,941.52 points, while Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng wiped out 174.88 points to 28,784.42 points. The shares of the Chinese leader in online trade Alibaba Group rose by 3.58%, while those of PetroChina and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp wiped out 1.10% and 0.23%, respectively.
South Korean index Kospi posted a 0.27% drop to 2,226.60 points, with Samsung Electronics falling by more than 1.2%.
In Australia, the local benchmark S&P ASX 200 fell by 0.94% to 57.90 points. The shares of local energy companies reported a decline. Woodside Petroleum and Beach Energy declined by 0.43% and 0.25% respectively, while Santos wiped out 2.41%.
Many market analysts consider that the strong performance of the Chinese mainland stock market has been speculated lately by the euphoria surrounding the trade talks and speeches of the US President Donald Trump and Chinese Leader Xi Jinping. The two leaders are expected to meet in March in the United States to clarify the issues surrounding the trade agreement and finalize negotiations between the world’s two most powerful economies.
European markets mid-session recap
German index DAX 30 moved down by 11 points, or 0.01%, to 11,494.63 points at 10:50 GMT. Suedzucker shed 0.8% after its supervisory board agreed on the restructuring plan for the sugar segment. The chemicals group BASF rallied 2.4% despite the company posting a sharp drop in fourth-quarter earnings. Aixtron slumped 8% after its fourth-quarter net result dropped by 33% YoY to 18.2 million EUR.
The French index CAC 40 was down 14 points, or 0.27%, to 5,217.47 points in mid-session on Tuesday. The technology company Thales dropped by 1.8% after reporting a rise in FY18 profit and forecasting higher EBIT and organic sales in FY19.
British stocks are moving sharply down on Tuesday with blue-chip index FTSE 100 wiping out 82.75 points, or 1.15%, to 7,100.99 points at 10:50 GMT. Standard Chartered fell by nearly 1% after its annual profit missed forecasts. Rolls Royce Holding dropped more than 1% despite securing a 235 million-pound (307 million USD) nuclear submarine maintenance contract. Tullow Oil and BP Plc were moving lower as oil extended overnight losses following US President Trump’s tweet calling on OPEC to ease its efforts to boost prices. Housebuilder Persimmon advanced by 1.7% as it posted annual profits above £1bn for the first time. Barratt Developments rose by 1% and Taylor Wimpey gained 1.8%.
Wall Street pre-session recap
Wall Street stock index futures are slightly lower on Tuesday, as market participants wait to see if the world’s two largest economies can secure a comprehensive trade agreement.
At around 06:00 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were 63 points lower, indicating a negative open of 47.95 points. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were both seen relatively downbeat.
The investors are likely to monitor housing starts and building permits for December at around 8:30 a.m. ET. Philadelphia Fed manufacturing figures for February is expected to be released at the same time, with consumer confidence data for February due later in the session.
Market participants are also awaiting testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to a U.S. Senate committee on Tuesday. It comes after the U.S. central bank adopted a more cautious stance on future interest rate hikes last month.