Lit­tle appetite for risk across glob­ali mar­kets

Malta Independent - - FINANCIAL -

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.

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