Global stocks are moving without single direction, as Asian indexes ended the trading session in green, while European markets are deep into the red.
The investors were affected by the escalated tensions between India and Pakistan, sapping demand for riskier assets. After Indian warplanes destroyed Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camps in Pakistan, the latter said it shot down two Indian jets in its territory. The conflict threatens to affect totally 1.5 billion people.
The investors also looked forward to the second summit between the US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in Vietnam for directional cues.
Hours before the meeting, the US President Donald Trump said in a Twitter message that North Korea has “great” development potential, but it can only be realized if the country drops out of nuclear weapons.
The two leaders will meet at the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi at 6:30 pm local time and will hold a 20-minute conversation before a formal dinner takes place, the length of which should be just over an hour and a half.
Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley presented data, according to which, with a gradual, Vietnam-like liberalization of North Korea’s economy, the country could get investment opportunities of up to 9 billion USD per year and additional 2 billion USD in consumption per year.
Market participants also monitor the news from central banks. On Tuesday evening, US Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell predicted that the US economy would continue its growth with a solid, albeit slower, pace this year. But he warned of rising risks, including global slowdown, volatile financial markets, and uncertainty about US trade policy.
Asian markets recap
Most of the Asian stocks indexes ended the Wednesday trading session in green territory ahead of the meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam.
In China, the continental index Shanghai Composite rose by 0.42% to 2,953.82 points, while Hong Kong’s index Hang Seng dropped by 0.05% to 28,757.44 points.
At the same time, the Indian markets were hit by the resumed political controversy between New Delhi and Islamabad. The Nifty 50 index declined by 0.59%, while the Indian Rupee fell against the US dollar by 0.5%, traded at 71.301 rupees.
In Japan, the Tokyo Stock Exchange blue-chip index Nikkei 225 added 107 points, or 0.50%, to 21,556.51 points. The stocks of Fast Retailing rose by 2.67%.
The South Korean index Kospi appreciated by 0.37% to 2,234.79 points, with Hyundai Motor shares adding 5.31% to its value, while Samsung Electronics closed the session at the opening level.
In Australia, the local benchmark S&P ASX 200 rose by 0.36% to 6,150.30 points, with BHP Billiton’s shares up by 0.59% and Westpac climbing by 0.64%.
European markets mid-session recap
German index DAX 30 edged lower on Wednesday, wiping out 0.57%, or 65.65 points, to 11,475.14 points at 11:20 GMT. The steel producer Salzgitter Group rose over 1% after confirming its guidance for the financial year 2019. The chemicals and pharmaceutical group Bayer rallied 3.4% after its adjusted core earnings rose by 15.8% in the fourth quarter. The stocks of the cloud and ICT provider QSC dropped by 2.4% after its consolidated net income for the fiscal year 2018 declined to 3.3 million EUR from 5.1 million EUR in the prior year.
The French benchmark CAC 40 was down 13 points, or 0.25%, to 5,225.51 points in mid-session trading. In stock-specific action, defense company Safran edged down slightly. The company forecast higher revenue and profits this year after reporting a fall in 2018 adjusted net profit.
British blue-chip stocks fell again on Wednesday as Marks & Spencer tumbled after announcing a rights issue to fund an online food joint venture with Ocado, while plans for a cash call knocked Metro Bank to an all-time low. The blue-chip index FTSE 100 is down by 0.73% to 7,098.73 points at 11:20 GMT. Marks & Spencer slumped as much as 10% and was on course for its steepest one-day decline in more than two and a half years after saying it would finance the Ocado deal from a rights issue to raise up to 600 million GBP and a dividend cut. Midcaps saw some big fallers too, with Metro Bank tanking 19.3% a day after it disclosed that regulators were looking to investigate the circumstances around an accounting error at the lender.
Wall Street pre-session recap
Wall Street stock index futures were slightly lower Wednesday morning after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated the central bank’s shift to a more “patient” approach to monetary policy.
At around 06:30 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were 69 points lower, indicating a negative open of 82.98 points. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were both seen relatively downbeat.
Advanced economic indicators for December will be released at around 8:30 a.m. ET. Pending home sales for January and factory orders for December are both set to follow later in the session.