Europe Stocks Halt Selloff; Dollar and Oil Fall
EghtesadOnline: European stocks advanced, poised to help draw a line under recent global equity declines, even as the region’s common currency strengthened. The dollar dropped after President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address offered few new clues on U.S. policy, and bonds gained as the Bank of Japan increased asset purchases.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose, with most industry sectors in the green amid a flurry of corporate results. Equities in Asia were mixed, though the MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined for a third session as a retreat in Japanese shares weighed on the broader gauge. The yield on the benchmark U.S. Treasury clawed its way back below 2.7 percent and the greenback was down against almost every major peer. The British pound gained as Prime Minister Theresa May headed to China to talk trade, according to Bloomberg.
It’s been a big month for stock markets, with stellar gains across most major gauges that were followed this week by the MSCI All-Country World Index’s biggest two-day slide since September 2016. Investors will now be focusing on Wednesday’s Federal Reserve decision, the accelerating earnings season and more big economic data points to see if the uptrend can resume.
Elsewhere, oil retreated and industrial metals reversed losses. A measure of China’s manufacturing sector came in below expectations, while the services gauge topped estimates.
Here are some important things to watch out for this week:
- Fed policy makers gather for Chair Janet Yellen’s final meeting on interest rates Wednesday before her term ends.
- Tech giants Microsoft Corp., Facebook Inc., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. will announce earnings. Large-caps Exxon Mobil Corp., Merck & Co. Inc., Roche Holding AG, Daimler AG, Deutsche Bank AG and Boeing Co. also report.
- U.S. employers probably added more jobs in January than a month earlier, economists forecast before the Friday report.
- On Wednesday, the core euro-zone inflation report may show an uptick from a year ago to 1 percent this month.
And these are the main moves in markets:
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 0.3 percent as of 8:26 a.m. London time.
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index gained 0.4 percent.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index decreased 0.2 percent to the lowest in more than a week.
- The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell less than 0.05 percent to the lowest in six weeks.
- The MSCI Emerging Market Index jumped 0.4 percent.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.4 percent to the lowest in more than three years.
- The euro rose 0.3 percent to $1.2444, the strongest in more than three years on the largest advance in a week.
- The British pound climbed 0.3 percent to $1.4188, the strongest in a week.
- The Japanese yen rose 0.1 percent to 108.64 per dollar.
- South Africa’s rand gained 1 percent to 11.8406 per dollar, the strongest in almost three years.
- The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index jumped 0.6 percent.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped three basis points to 2.69 percent.
- Germany’s 10-year yield decreased two basis points to 0.67 percent, the largest tumble in more than two weeks.
- Britain’s 10-year yield sank one basis point to 1.46 percent and the biggest tumble in more than two weeks.
- West Texas Intermediate crude decreased 0.5 percent to $64.19 a barrel, the lowest in more than a week.
- Gold rose 0.4 percent to $1,343.38 an ounce, the biggest advance in a week.