The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down nearly 2% in early trading
Fresh economic data out of the US came in lower than expected, cooling investor concerns over a rapid tightening by the Federal Reserve. In particular, IHS Markit’s manufacturing PMI declined to 60.5 from 61.1 versus 62.5 expected while weekly initial jobless claims in the US rose by 16,000 to 351,000 versus 320,000 expected. Against this backdrop, the S&P 500 rose 1.21%, the Dow gained 1.48%, while the Nasdaq rose 1.04%.
Following gains in the US, the risk-on tone abated in the Asian trading on Friday amid the persistent uncertainty around the fate of the troubled China Evergrande. The company’s stocks finished 11.6% lower despite making a due payment on Thursday. The Shanghai Composite in China shed 0.80% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.30%. Bucking the trend, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rallied over 2% after reopening from Thursday’s national holiday.
In Europe, equities opened lower, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 was down nearly 2% in early trading. During the meeting on Thursday, the Bank of England downgraded economic growth projections for the third quarter of this year. In other news, the headline German IFO business climate index worsened to 98.8 in September versus last month’s 99.4 and the consensus estimates of 100.4. US stock index futures pointed to a lower open in early pre-market trading.
In currencies, the dollar has steadied following yesterday’s losses. EURUSD has settled just below the 1.1750 intermediate resistance. Struggling to extend gains as the selling pressure surrounding the greenback has eased. Weaker-than-expected data out of Germany adding to a less upbeat tone around the common currency for the time being. It looks like the pair will stay below the 1.1800 figure in the short term. On the downside, the nearest support arrives around 1.1730.