Global stocks got impulse from the Dow Jones milestone and the positive data for Chinese exports, which rose in the first half of the year.
Asian markets were mostly colored into the green and the positive sentiment spread to Europe, where gains were limited due to negative corporate news for the British tour operator Thomas Cook Group, which is negotiating a bank injection of 750 million GBP (940 million USD). The stocks of the British tour group plummeted on the news to its lowest level on record and was down more than 40% by mid-morning.
Also, healthcare stocks were under pressure as drugmakers resumed their slide after the White House said it was ditching a key plan to lower US drug prices and raising the possibility of new measures focused on drugmakers.
Asian markets recap
Asian markets ended the last trading session of the week into the green, despite the worse-than-expected data on Singapore’s gross domestic product, with investors focusing on the upcoming release of Chinese trade figures.
Singapore’s gross domestic product declined by 3.4% between April and June, compared with the previous quarter. This is a serious retreat from the expected growth of 0.1% predicted by economists. Compared to the same period a year ago, Singapore’s GDP grew by 0.1%, reflecting its slowest growth since the second quarter of 2009.
In China, the mainland index Shanghai Composite rose by 0.44% to 2,930.55 points. Hong Kong’s index Hang Seng rose by 59.82 points, or 0.21%, to 28,491.62 points. Meanwhile, China’s customs department reported that the country’s dollar-denominated exports fell 1.3% in June from a year ago while imports fell 7.3% in the same period. However, the economists had expected China’s June exports to have declined 2% from a year ago, while imports were expected to have contracted 4.5% from a year earlier. The overall trade surplus in June, meanwhile, was 50.98 billion USD, higher than economists’ expectations of 44.65 billion USD in the poll.
In Japan, the blue-chip index on Tokyo Stock Exchange, Nikkei 225, advanced by 42.37 points, or 0.20%, to 21,685.90 points. The best performers during the session were Fast Retailing Co (+3.19%), Tokyo Tatemono Co (+2.23%) and Mitsui Mining and Smelting (+1.72%), while on the flipside were Yaskawa Electric (-3.93%), Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (-2.88%) and Rakuten Inc (-2.86%).
The South Korean index Kospi added 0.29% to 2,086.66 points. The stock of the electric cars batteries manufacturer LG Chem rose by 1.09% after news that the company was considering building a second factory in the US. Thus, the company will accelerate the process of adding production capacity to the global race to meet the ever-growing demand for “green” vehicles. The States of Kentucky and Tennessee are among the locations for the construction of the plant.
In Australia, the local index S&P ASX 200 fell by 0.29% to 6,696.50 points.
European markets mid-session recap
European stocks traded mostly higher on Friday as investors reacted to new Chinese trade data. The pan-European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.16% to 387.32 points. The basic resources are leading the gains with a 1.7% climb while autos recovered from an early fall to trade 1.3% higher.
German index DAX 30 inched lower by 7.67 points, or 0.06%, to 12,324.45 points at 10:00 GMT. Daimler stock was down 3% in early deals but recovered slightly and are currently into the red by 1.17%. The German carmaker warned investors to expect a second-quarter loss before interest and taxes of 1.6 billion EUR (1.8 billion USD) after a 2.6 billion EUR profit posted in the same period last year. The shares of Deutsche Bank are up by more than 1.5%, rebounding after the declines in recent days after the shocking news for massive restructuring and cuts of 18,00 employees.
French index CAC 40 is up by 31.53 points, or 0.57%, to 5,583.47 points. The stocks of Airbus gained 0.44% after Air China has agreed to buy 20 A350-900 jets, bolstering the European planemaker’s order book for wide-body aircraft against Boeing. The stocks of carmakers are standing on a strong uptrend with Renault and Peugeot adding 1.8% and 2.5%, respectively.
British index FTSE 100 edged high by 0.24% to 7,527.51 points at mid-session trading. Gains in financial stocks and miners drove London’s main index higher on Friday amid increasing bets that the U.S. central bank will cut interest rates later this month, while Thomas Cook shares tanked after a proposed 750 million-pound bailout. Shares of blue-chip healthcare giants GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca fell for the second straight session after the US government scrapped a key plan to lower prescription medicine prices. Hiscox skidded almost 5% after the insurer warned of continued deterioration in the market.
Wall Street pre-session recap
Wall Street stock index futures were slightly higher Friday morning, amid optimism rooted in expectations of a Federal Reserve rate cut later this month.
Around 6 a.m. ET, Dow futures indicated a positive open of more than 85 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were both seen higher.
The investors are likely to closely monitor producer price index data (PPI) and core PPI for June at around 8:30 a.m. ET.