Some re­cov­ery dur­ing the week for global mar­kets

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - BUSINESS & FINANCE -

US stocks ended the last day of this week lower af­ter three straight days of solid gains, as a steep fall for Ap­ple shares led a re­treat for the broader tech­nol­ogy sec­tor and par­tic­i­pants took a less op­ti­mistic view of the prospects of a thaw in US- China trade re­la­tions.

Euro­pean eq­ui­ties pared their early gains al­though the Stoxx 600 in­dex still regis­tered its best week since De­cem­ber 2016, while emerg­ing mar­ket stocks — as mea­sured by the FTSE EM in­dex — ex­tended their re­cent rally to reach a four-week high.

The re­treat for Wall Street also came as a ro­bust US em­ploy­ment re­port helped re­in­force ex­pec­ta­tions that the Fed­eral Re­serve would raise in­ter­est rates again next month, push­ing Trea­sury yields and the dol­lar higher.

Ap­ple’s de­cline came in re­sponse to a dis­ap­point­ing out­look for hol­i­day sea­son sales from the com­pany. This was fol­lowed by dis­ap­point­ing guid­ance from a num­ber of other big- name US com­pa­nies dur­ing the quar­terly re­port­ing sea­son.

Mean­while, there was plenty of un­cer­tainty about the prospect of a trade deal be­tween the US and China. Re­ports on Fri­day sug­gested that Don­ald Trump, US pres­i­dent, was look­ing to reach a deal be­fore the end of this month and had asked of­fi­cials to draw up a draft of a po­ten­tial agree­ment

Fur­ther pos­i­tive news on the US econ­omy came from the lat­est non-farm pay­rolls re­port, which showed that 250,000 jobs had been cre­ated last month — more than ex­pected — and that av­er­age hourly earn­ings in­creased by 0.2% month on month, push­ing the an­nual growth rate to 3.1%.

Oil prices re­mained on the back foot, with Brent ex­tend­ing its drop from the Oc­to­ber 3 high of $86.74 to about 16 per cent. Gold was flat at $1,232 an ounce.

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