Global markets are volatile and moving without a single direction against mixed PMI data overshadowed investor optimism over progress in talks between the US and China.
The ongoing trade talks between the US and China remain a central topic in the focus of investors and will likely prove to be the next catalyst for market processes.
Sources familiar with the talks reported that the two countries have begun to mark their principal commitments on some of the most difficult issues in their trade dispute.
The negotiators prepare six memorandums of understanding on structural issues – forced technology transfer and online theft, intellectual property rights, services, currencies, agriculture, and trade barriers that are not related to customs duties.
On Wednesday evening, were released the minutes from the latest Fed meeting in January. The central bankers discussed the suspension of the reduction of bonds on the balance sheet before the end of 2019.
“Many of the participants in the meeting said that it is not yet clear what adjustments to the target range will be appropriate later this year”, says the meeting minutes.
Meanwhile, the Eurozone manufacturing PMI dropped further to 49.2 points in February while services PMI hit a three-month high of 52.3 points. However, the German manufacturing sector slumped into contraction in the month.
Asian markets recap
The main indexes at the Asia-Pacific Stock Exchanges ended today’s session with increases amid the US Federal Reserve minutes from January meeting.
On the Chinese markets, the continental index Shanghai Composite wiped out 0.34% of its value and ended the day at 2,751.80 points. Hong Kong’s index Hang Seng rose by 0.30% to 28,600.54 points. The shares of Lenovo rose more than 12% after the company announced returning to profit in the third quarter, surpassing market expectations. Profit for the period reached 233 million USD against a loss of 289 million USD in the same period a year earlier. The stocks of Alibaba and China Telecom increased by 0.31% and 0.91%, respectively.
In Japan, the index Nikkei 225 rose by 2.74 points, or 0.15%, to 21,464.23 points. The shares of Japanese corporation SoftBank Group declined by 1.63% while those of Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor rose by 1.07% and 0.18%, respectively.
The South Korean index Kospi dropped by 0.05% to 2,228.66 points, with Samsung Electronics rising by 0.11% after the company launched the first smartphone using the 5G network.
In Australia, the local benchmark S&P ASX 200 added 42.70 points, or 0.70%, ending the session at 6,139.20 points. The shares of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and Commonwealth Bank of Australia appreciated by 1.83% and 2.01% respectively.
European markets mid-session recap
German index DAX 30 is up by 11 points, or 0.1%, at 11,413.33 points at 10:40 GMT. Banking giant Deutsche Bank dropped 1% on a Wall Street Journal report that it has lost 1.6 billion USD over nearly a decade on a complex municipal-bond investment that it bought before the 2008 financial crisis. The world’s largest independent manufacturer of lubricants Fuchs Petrolub slumped 8% after reporting that sees lower EBIT in FY19. The stocks of Deutsche Telekom declined by 1.5% amid the reported fourth-quarter net loss of 431 million EUR. Beverage filling and packaging company Krones plunged more than 8% as its fiscal 2018 consolidated net income declined 19.5% to 150.6 million EUR. Consumer goods maker Henkel rose half a percent on reporting a rise in FY18 adjusted profit.
French stocks stalled with CAC 40 down by 4.5 points, or 0.07%, to 5,191.45 points at mid-session trading. Hotel giant Accor tumbled 3% as it reported 2018 EBITDA in line with the group’s guidance. Insurance firm Axa advanced 1.8% on the background of guidance for higher earnings this year after fiscal 2018 net income fell by 66% as a result of charges related to its US unit’s IPO and a spate of natural disasters. Industrial group Bouygues rallied 3.3% after reporting higher 2018 net profit, while telecoms operator Orange dropped 1.7% after warning of lower EBITDA growth in 2019.
British stocks sank into the red today with blue-chip index FTSE 100 wiping out 0.67% to 7,180.22 points at 10:40 GMT. The stocks of the gas owner Centrica dropped by 11% after a report that it would struggle to meet its cash flow targets this year. The defense contractor BAE decreased by 6% after warning about the impact of a German ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia.
Wall Street pre-session recap
Wall Street stock futures were slightly higher Thursday, amid reports the US and China have begun outlining a deal to end their protracted trade war.
At around 5:50 a.m. ET, Dow futures were up around 18 points, indicating a higher open of more than 32 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures also climbed slightly higher.
A flurry of economic reports is expected throughout the day. Jobless claims, the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index, durable goods orders, manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers index) and services PMI are due later this morning.