U.S. equity futures and Europe stocks slipped on Monday while Asian markets posted modest gains as investors weighed the latest batch of competing headlines on global growth and trade. The dollar was steady, and bonds in Europe were mixed.
With American markets shut for a holiday, there seemed to be little to inspire either contracts on the S&P 500 Index or the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, with the latter paring the worst of an early drop but still ending slightly down. News that the IMF was cutting its global growth forecast to the weakest in three years — in part because of softening demand in Europe — merely cemented an already downbeat mood. Bonds across the region were mixed.
Shares in Asia fared better. Chinese growth data was bad, but the markets had braced for it and industrial output and retail sales data for December offered a silver lining. Equities in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai all advanced.
Investors find themselves caught between a stellar start to the year and increasingly hazy prospects for global growth and trade. Lingering optimism on U.S-China talks had also helped sentiment in Asia, but a Bloomberg report that the two sides are making little progress on the key issue of intellectual property protection has further clouded that picture, too.
Elsewhere, the pound erased a loss and turned higher as Theresa May returned to Parliament and ruled out both a delay to the March 29 departure date and a second referendum on leaving the EU. The U.K. prime minister also promised to be more flexible, open and inclusive after cross-party talks.These are some events investors will be watching out for in the coming days:
- Earnings season is in full swing: Johnson & Johnson, IBM, UBS, United Technologies, Texas Instruments, and Ford are among companies posting results this week.
- The World Economic Forum, the annual gathering of global leaders in politics, business and culture, opens in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday.
- There are rate decisions for the Bank of Japan (Wednesday), the Bank of Korea and the European Central Bank (both Thursday).
And these are the main moves in markets:
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index decreased 0.2 percent as of 4:50 p.m. London time, the first retreat in a week.
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index sank 0.3 percent, the first retreat in a week.
- The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index gained less than 0.05 percent to the highest in almost seven weeks.
- Germany’s DAX Index sank 0.6 percent, the biggest dip in more than two weeks.
- The MSCI Emerging Market Index fell 0.1 percent, the largest fall in a week.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 0.3 percent to the highest in almost seven weeks.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained less than 0.05 percent.
- The euro climbed 0.1 percent to $1.1369, the first advance in a week.
- The British pound increased 0.2 percent to $1.2897.
- The Japanese yen climbed 0.1 percent to 109.62 per dollar, the first advance in a week.
- Germany’s 10-year yield declined one basis point to 0.26 percent.
- Britain’s 10-year yield decreased three basis points to 1.323 percent.
- Italy’s 10-year yield advanced three basis points to 2.756 percent.
- West Texas Intermediate crude declined less than 0.05 percent to $53.79 a barrel.
- Gold fell 0.1 percent to $1,280.43 an ounce, the weakest in more than three weeks.