Global stocks wavered on Wednesday, following a strong close in the US overnight after President Trump suggested a Sino-American trade deal could still be in the cards.
The mixed economic data moves the global indexes without a single direction. Germany’s economy rebounded in the first quarter, but April figures from China pointed to a slowdown.
One of the main topics in the focus of investors was data on the Chinese economy in April. China’s April factory output and consumer spending weakened as a tariff war with Washington intensified. The data prompted suggestions Beijing will need to prop up economic growth with more government spending. Growth in factory output decelerated to 5.4% over a year earlier from March’s 8.5% growth. Growth in retail sales declined to 7.2% over a year ago from the previous month’s 8.7%.
Meanwhile, the German economy returned to growth in the first quarter as householders spent more freely and construction activity picked up, but the government cautioned that the outlook remained clouded by trade disputes. The country’s Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.4% quarter-on-quarter, Wednesday’s Federal Statistics Office data showed. Year on year it grew a calendar-adjusted 0.7%. Both preliminary readings were in line with market expectations. The country’s exports and the industrial sector are likely to remain subdued in the coming months.
Asian markets recap
The main stock indexes of the Asia-Pacific region ended today’s trading session into the green despite the increased trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.
In China, the mainland index Shanghai Composite advanced by 1.91% to 2,938.68 points. The Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng reported a growth of 242.33 points, or 0.86%, to 28,364.35 points.
In Japan, the blue-chip index on Tokyo Stock Exchange, Nikkei 225, added 121.33 points, or 0.58%, closing at 21,188.56 points. Shares of Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor dropped by 6.47% after the company presented its annual financial report for 2018, which was the worst in over 11 years.
In South Korea, the local index Kospi rose by 0.53% to 2,092.78 points. LG Chem’s stock climbed by 2.71% after it became clear that the company had signed a battery contract with the Swedish carmaker Volvo.
Australian index S&P ASX 200 advanced by 44.30 points, or 0.71%, to 6,284.20 points.
European markets mid-session recap
European shares fall amid disappointing bank earnings.
German index DAX 30 is down by 0.17% to 11,971.10 points at 09:00 GMT, after starting the session with jump above 12,000 points. The latest data showed Europe’s biggest economy returning to growth in the first quarter of 2019. However, the stocks od Daimler and Volkswagen are down by 0.7% and 3.1%, following the negative trends of the carmakers. The shares of software giant SAP rose by 0.4%, while Deutsche Bank fell by 0.5%. A more than 5% drop in E.ON weighed on the energy company’s shares and the utility sector as Goldman Sachs downgraded its shares.
The French index CAC 40 is down by 0.37%, or 19.84 points, at 5,321.50 points. The shares of Renault fell about 3% after its Japanese partner, Nissan issued a bleak earnings outlook. Peugeot is also down by 0.7%. French bank Credit Agricole’s first-quarter net profits dropped after two one-off events offset gains in profitability at some of its businesses.
The UK shares rose as risk sentiment picked up after comments from President Donald Trump playing down Washington’s trade war with Beijing, while a slew of earnings reports drove major share moves on both main indexes. The blue-chip index FTSE 100 was up 0.24% to 7,258.64 points at 09:00 GMT. After an initial gain, TUI AG shares are down 1.3% on the back of a wider first-half loss. TUI said the knock-on effect of last year’s summer heatwave, the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, Brexit, a later Easter and tough competition in Spain dented its results.
Wall Street pre-session recap
Wall Street stock index futures indicate for a positive start of the trading session on Wednesday, as market participants focused on economic data and new corporate earnings.
At around 04:45 a.m. ET, Dow futures are slightly down by 17 points but indicate a higher open of more than 32 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq also suggest for a slightly higher open.
Nonetheless, the trade will remain a key focus for market participants. The U.S. president has until midnight Friday to decide whether to impose car tariffs on Europe.
On the data front, there will be retail sales, manufacturing numbers, industrial production and business inventories published throughout the morning.
In terms of earnings, Macy’s, Cisco Systems and ZTO Express will report their latest results.