Little appetite for risk across globali markets
There was little appetite for risk across global markets on Thursday, as investors came to terms with the prospect of faster-thanexpected U.S. interest rate hikes and a raft of disappointing data out of China.
Most benchmark stock gauges retreated, with Asian shares taking their cue from Wednesday’s weak U.S. session and deepening recent losses. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index followed suit, while American equity futures erased a drop to trade little changed.
The prospects for the global economic cycle are the center of attention, with conflicting signals emanating from the world’s two biggest economies. The Federal Reserve talked up U.S. growth as it raised rates and hinted at a total of four hikes in 2018, while China’s central bank unexpectedly failed to follow the increase. Policy makers in the Asian nation may well be concerned at its slowing pace of expansion; economic indicators including retail sales and industrial output missed estimates for May. Adding to the gloom, President Donald Trump threatened to “strongly” confront China on trade.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index sank 0.4 percent as of 6:30 a.m. New York time, the largest decrease in two weeks. Futures on the S&P 500 Index dipped less than 0.05 percent to the lowest in a week. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index decreased 0.6 percent to the lowest in more than two weeks on the largest dip in more than a week. Germany’s DAX Index declined 0.1 percent. The MSCI Emerging Market Index sank 0.9 percent to the lowest in two weeks. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index sank 0.9 percent to the lowest in almost two weeks on the biggest dip in more than two weeks.
West Texas Intermediate crude increased 0.2 percent to $66.77 a barrel, the highest in two weeks. Gold jumped 0.4 percent to $1,305.16 an ounce, the highest in a month on the largest climb in three weeks. Brent crude declined 0.4 percent to $76.41 a barrel.