Equities retreat on global slowing concerns
Dollar weakens after weaker than expected jobs data
US stock market extended losses fifth session in a row on Friday with weak labor market and China export data undermining market sentiment. S&P 500 slid 0.2% to 2743.07, closing 2.2% lower for the week. Dow Jones industrial slipped 0.1% to 25450.24. The Nasdaq shed 0.2% to 7408.14. The dollar strengthening reversed on a weaker than expected reading of just 20,000 new jobs in February. The live dollar index data show the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, lost 0.2% to 97.357 but is higher currently. Futures on US stock indexes point to mixed openings today.
DAX 30 sags less than other European indices
European stocks fell further on Friday weighed by weak German data. The GBP/USD continued sliding while EUR/USD turned higer with no change in dynamics for both pairs currently. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index tumbled 0.9%. The DAX 30 slid 0.5% to 11457.84 as German factory orders fell 2.6% over month in January when an increase was expected. France’s CAC 40 tumbled 0.7% and UK’s FTSE 100 lost 0.7% to 7104.31.
Shanghai Composite leads Asian indices gains
Asian stock indices are mostly higher today. Nikkei rose 0.5% to 21125.09 with yen resuming its slide against the dollar. Chinese markets are higher after China’s central bank on Sunday pledged further monetary stimulus by spurring loans and lowering borrowing costs. The Shanghai Composite Index is up 1.9% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is 0.8% higher. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index fell 0.4% as the Australian dollar continued its climb against the greenback.
Brent futures prices are higher today supported by OPEC cuts. Prices ended lower on Friday despite the Baker Hughes report that the number of active US rigs drilling for oil fell by 9 to 834 last week: Brent for May settlement fell 0.8% to close at $65.74 a barrel Friday, gaining 1% for the week.