STOCK EXCHANGES AROUND THE WORLD
US indexes extend losses
Wall Street’s main indexes extended losses on Friday after the United States joined the euro zone in reporting weak manufacturing activity last month, fueling fears of a slowing global economy.
US manufacturing sector Flash Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 52.5 in March, well below the estimates of 53.6, according to economists polled by Reuters. German manufacturing contracted further in March, showing its lowest reading since June 2013, while factory activity across the euro zone looked equally dismal.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday abandoned projections for any interest rate hikes this year, as policymakers see a US economy that is rapidly losing momentum. The spread between three-month Treasury bills and 10-year note yields inverted for the first time since 2007. An inverted yield curve is widely understood to be a leading indicator of recession.
Financial stocks, which looked set to extend their three-day decline, fell 2.11 percent, while the banking sector declined 2.70 percent. Adding to the uncertainty were concerns over trade, as U.S. trade delegates head to Beijing next week. President Donald Trump said that a final agreement with China “will probably happen.”
Chipmakers, which get a huge chunk of their revenue from China, fell. The Philadelphia chip index was down 1.47 percent, while the broader technology sector declined 1.10 percent.
Hopes of a trade deal and a dovish Fed have sparked a rally in stocks this year, putting the S&P 500 index 3.7 percent away from its closing record high hit in September.
At 9:59 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 283.66 points, or 1.09 percent, at 25,678.85. The S&P 500 was down 28.50 points, or 1.00 percent, at 2,826.38 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 89.99 points, or 1.15 percent, at 7,748.97.
Only the defensive utilities, real estate and consumer staples sectors were trading higher.
Nike Inc dropped 4.6 percent after the sportswear maker’s quarterly revenue failed to beat Wall Street estimates. Its partner Foot Locker Inc fell 2.4 percent
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 3.05-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 3.60-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. The S&P index recorded 41 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 18 new highs and 23 new lows.
India Sensex snaps 8-day rally
Snapping its eight-day rally, the S&P BSE Sensex ended 222 points lower at 38,165 as investors booked profit in recent gainers. Besides, selling in auto stocks, too, weighed on the sentiment.
Industry heavyweights Reliance Industries (RIL), HDFC Bank, SBI and Maruti contributed the most to the index’s losses. Out of 30 components of the index, only 10 scrips ended in the green and rest in the red.
The broader Nifty50 index of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) ended below the crucial 11,500 level at 11,457, down 64 points or 0.56 percent.
China, Hong Kong stocks edge higher
China and Hong Kong stocks rose on Thursday morning, after the U.S. Federal Reserve took a more accommodative stance at its policy meeting. The CSI300 index rose 0.2 percent, to 3,844.25 points, at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6 percent, to 3,109.48 points.
The Hang Seng index added 0.2 percent, to 29,370.02 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.5 percent, to 11,683.39.
The yuan was quoted at 6.6828 per U.S. dollar, 0.17 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.6943. The largest percentage gainers on the main Shanghai Composite index were Gansu Yasheng Industrial Group Co Ltd , up 10.14 percent, followed by Baiyin Nonferrous Group Co Ltd, gaining 10.09 percent, and Xinjiang Tianfu Energy Co Ltd, up by 10.07 percent.
Japan stocks higher
Japan stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Chemical, Petroleum & Plastic, Machinery and Electrical/Machinery sectors led shares higher. At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.09 percent. The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Advantest Corp. which rose 6.18percent or 150.0 points to trade at 2578.0 at the close.
Meanwhile, Tokyo Electron Ltd added 5.19percent or 815.0 points to end at 16515.0 and The Japan Steel Works, Ltd was up 4.12percent or 83.0 points to 2100.0 in late trade. The worst performers of the session were Eisai Co., Ltd, which fell 16.55percent or 1500.0 points to trade at 7565.0 at the close. Sony Corp (T:6758) declined 4.89percent or 242.0 points to end at 4709.0 and Otsuka Holdings Ltd (T:4578) was down 3.85percent or 178.0 points to 4445.0. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 2166 to 1347 and 228 ended unchanged.
France stocks lower
France stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Oil & Gas, Financials and Consumer Services sectors led shares lower. At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 fell 0.07 percent, while the SBF 120 index lost 0.08 percent. The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were STMicroelectronics NV, which rose 4.39 percent or 0.625 points to trade at 14.850 at the close. Meanwhile, WFD Unibail Rodamco NV added 1.70 percent or 2.54 points to end at 151.92 and Bouygues SA was up 1.50 percent or 0.48 points to 32.44 in late trade.
The worst performers were EssilorLuxottica SA which was down 6.55 percent to 98.12 in late trade, SES which lost 5.55 percent to settle at 14.05 and Elior Group which was down 4.37percent to 12.05 at the close.
Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 303 to 254 and 108 ended unchanged.
Shares in EssilorLuxottica SA fell to 52-week lows; losing 6.55percent or 6.88 to 98.12. Shares in EssilorLuxottica SA fell to 52-week lows; losing 6.55percent or 6.88 to 98.12.
The CAC 40 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was up 7.44percent to 15.36 a new 1-month high.
Gold Futures for April delivery was up 0.52percent or 6.75 to $1308.45 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.55percent or 0.33 to hit $59.90 a barrel, while the May Brent oil contract fell 1.05percent or 0.72 to trade at $67.78 a barrel.
FTSE 100 sinks as sterling gains on Brexit relief
London’s FTSE 100 retreated from multi-month highs as the pound gained, weakening exporter stocks, and poor euro zone economic data pulled the index deeper into the red.
The FTSE 100 dipped 0.8 percent and was on course for its worst day in a month by 0947 GMT. The more domestically exposed FTSE 250 slipped 0.7 percent. Sterling strengthened after European Union leaders gave Prime Minister Theresa May two more weeks, until April 12, to decide how to leave the European Union.
Taiwan shares higher as electronics sector gains
Shares in Taiwan closed up moderately as the bellwether electronics sector attracted buying, in particular in the late-trading session, helping the broader market to recoup earlier losses, dealers said.
The high-tech sector got a boost from semiconductor heavyweights, led by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), on the back of gains posted by integrated circuit (IC) stocks in the US market overnight, while non-tech stocks appeared mixed throughout the session, the dealers said.
The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, or Taiex, closed up 29.52 points, or 0.28 percent, at 10,639.07, after moving between 10,589.47 and 10,667.94 on turnover of NT$130.36 billion (US$4.23 billion).
The market opened down 0.31 percent on follow-though buying from a session earlier, when the Taiex closed up 0.55 percent, as investors took cues from gains posted on the U.S. markets, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 0.84 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq index closed up 1.42 percent, the dealers said.