Stocks fall as pessimism builds on growth, trade

Stocks fall as pessimism builds on growth, trade

(iStock)

European stock markets slip at open

Tokyo’s Nikkei closes down over 2%

Asian markets tumble on US-China talks, Europe growth

Wall Street sinks on fears for trade, global growth

US stocks open lower on global growth worries

JSE follows global equities down as EU issues growth warning

 

US equity futures dropped with shares in Europe and Asia as
concern over economic growth and trade disputes pushed global stock markets
toward their first weekly loss since December. Treasuries edged higher with
gold.

Contracts on the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq Composite all
declined, with Hasbro tumbling in the pre-market after its earnings missed the
lowest analyst estimate and Amazon edging lower as feuding intensified between
its CEO and President Donald Trump.

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The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined and stocks in most of
Asia dropped following news that Trump is unlikely to meet Chinese President Xi
Jinping before the March 1 deadline for more tariffs. The renewed fears over
more protectionist measures also helped push emerging-market equities lower.
China’s markets remain shut for Lunar New Year.

For the moment, investors have called time-out on the risk
rally that began around Christmas as central banks and governments cast doubt
on rosy growth projections. Hours after the European Commission slashed forecasts
for the euro region’s major economies Thursday, the Bank of England said the UK
may grow at its slowest pace in a decade.

The Reserve Bank of Australia also lowered its growth and
inflation forecasts Friday.

“We do think growth will continue positively in the US
and Europe, but if we don’t get some positive movement on trade, that’s a risk
to the growth story,” Kathleen Hughes, global head of liquidity solutions
at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, told Bloomberg TV.

READ: European stock markets slip at open

Elsewhere, Western Texas Intermediate crude oil steadied
below $53 a barrel in New York. Iron ore futures topped $90 a ton to hit the
highest level since 2014 on concern that the increasingly severe crisis at top
producer Vale SA will reduce global supplies.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.3% as of 7:30 New York
time. Futures on the S&P 500 Index declined 0.6%. The MSCI World Index of
developed countries fell 0.3% to the lowest in more than a week. The MSCI Asia
Pacific Index decreased 1.1%.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose less than 0.05% with
its seventh straight advance. The euro fell less than 0.05% to $1.1337. The
Thai baht sank 0.7% to 31.468 per dollar on the largest decrease in more than
four months.

The Japanese yen rose less than 0.05% to the strongest in a
week. The onshore yuan fell 0.5%, hitting the weakest in more than a week with
its sixth consecutive decline and the largest fall in a week.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell two basis points to
2.64%. Germany’s 10-year yield fell one basis point to 0.11%. Italy’s 10-year
yield rose less than one basis point to 2.952%.

Commodities

Gold climbed 0.2% to $1 312.33 an ounce. West Texas Intermediate
crude fell 0.4% to $52.42 a barrel. LME nickel fell 1.5% to $12 790 per metric
ton. LME copper fell 0.3% to $6 230.00 per metric ton.

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