Daily global market update

On 24 March, 2017 - Global stocks were mixed Friday and for the week

US and European markets were cautious due to the vote on health care reform in the US; the bill was subsequently pulled due to a lack of votes.

United States

Stocks were down slightly Friday but pared losses in the late afternoon after Republicans pulled their health care bill because of a lack of votes just before markets closed. Investors had worried earlier in the week that the failure of the bill, which would have dismantled Obamacare, would prove an ominous sign for Trump's ability to push through his economic agenda, including tax reform. The Dow Jones industrials were down 0.3 percent and were 1.5 percent lower for the week. The S&P slipped 0.1 percent and was down 1.4 percent on the week. Nasdaq however, was up 0.2 percent but lost 1.2 percent on the week.

Hospital operators including Tenet Healthcare rallied. The potential dismantling of Obamacare had pressured hospital stocks. Micron Technology jumped after the company’s revenue and profit forecasts beat expectations. GameStop tumbled after the company's profit projection fell below estimates. AK Steel, Commercial Metals and US Steel retreated.

February durable goods orders jumped 1.7 percent after surging by a revised 2.3 percent in January. Excluding orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders rose by 0.4 percent in February after edging up 0.2 percent in January.

These data reflect observations at 4:00 PM US ET. Gold at the afternoon London fixing was unchanged at US$1,247.50. Copper futures were down 0.5 percent to US$2.63. WTI spot crude was up 44 US cents to US$48.14. Dated Brent spot crude was up 50 US cents to US$51.06. The US dollar was up against the yen, pound, and the Canadian dollar. The currency declined against the euro and Swiss franc. The currency was unchanged against the Australian dollar. The Dollar Index was unchanged. The yield on US Treasury 30 year bond was down 2 basis points to 3.01 percent while the yield on the 10 year note was unchanged at 2.41 percent.

Europe

Stocks were mostly lower trading in a narrow range. Investors were reluctant to make any major moves ahead of a crucial vote on US healthcare reform. The vote was expected to take place Thursday evening, but House Republican leaders delayed a vote on the bill amid indications of a lack of support. The vote was canceled again today and the legislation was pulled after markets here were closed for the week. The FTSE slipped 0.1 percent while the DAX added 0.2 percent. Both the CAC and SMI lost 0.2 percent. For the week, the FTSE declined 1.2 percent, the CAC slipped 0.2 percent, the DAX retreated 0.3 percent and the SMI lost 1.0 percent.

Merck KgaA climbed after the US FDA approved a drug for intravenous use for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients 12 years and older with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma. Both RWE and E.ON advanced. Bolloré was up after the transportation company offered Blue Solutions' shareholders an option to sell their shares at a price of €17 per share. Smiths Group advanced after its first-half results beat forecasts. Telecom Italia gained in Milan after the company swung back to profit in 2016 from a net loss of €70 million the previous year.

March flash PMIs indicated that Eurozone private sector activity expanded at the fastest pace in almost six years, amid robust new orders and employment growth in both manufacturing and service sectors. The composite output index rose to 56.7 from 56.0 in February.

Asia Pacific

Asian stocks were mostly higher Friday after US shares showed little reaction to the postponement of a key vote on President Donald Trump's replacement healthcare plan that is intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

The Shanghai Composite added 0.6 percent despite worries over tightening liquidity and an increased crackdown on speculation in the property market. The Hang Seng edged up 0.1 percent. For the week, the former was up 1.0 percent and the latter, 0.2 percent.

Both the Nikkei and Topix jumped 0.9 percent thanks to a weaker yen and banks posted strong gains after recent selling. Both indices were down for the week — the Nikkei lost 1.3 percent and the Topix was 1.4 percent lower. Toshiba shares soared on a Nikkei report that its lenders are demanding a Chapter 11 restructuring for the company's Westinghouse unit by the end of March. A regulator filing showed that the Singapore-based fund Effissimo Capital Management has become the largest shareholder in the company. March flash manufacturing PMI’s reading was 52.6, down from 53.3 in February.

The S&P/ASX climbed 0.8 percent and the All Ordinaries was up 0.7 percent. Both indices were down 0.8 percent on the week. Friday’s gains were led by banks as ANZ and Commonwealth raised variable rates for investor and interest-only mortgages, joining other rivals who lifted their rates last week. Harvey Norman advanced after saying the ASIC's investigation is a routine review of its accounts for the 2015/16 financial year.

The Kospi slipped 0.2 percent but was up 0.2 percent on the week. Investors paid little attention to data from the Bank of Korea showing that the country's consumer confidence index hit a 5-month high in March. The Sensex was up 0.3 percent on the day but was 0.8 percent lower on the week.

Looking Forward

The following indicators will be released this week...

Europe

March 27

Eurozone

M3 Money Supply (February)

Germany

Ifo Survey (March)

March 30

Eurozone

EC Consumer & Business Confidence (March)

March 31

Eurozone

Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (March flash)

Germany

Unemployment (March)

France

Consumption of Manufactured Goods (February)

UK

Gross Domestic Product (Q4 final estimate)

Asia Pacific

March 29

Japan

Retail Sales (February)

March 31

Japan

Household Spending (February)

Consumer Price Index (February)

Unemployment Rate (February)

Industrial Production (February)

China

PMI Manufacturing Index (March)

Americas

March 28

United States

International Trade in Goods (February)

Consumer Confidence (March)

March 29

United States

Pending Home Sales (February)

March 30

Canada

Industrial Product Price Index (February)

United States

Initial Unemployment Claims (week ending prior Saturday)

Gross Domestic Product (Q4 final estimate)

March 31

Canada

Monthly GDP (January)

United States

Personal Income & Spending (February)

Consumer Sentiment (March)

Global Stock Market Recap

Global Stock Market Recap

Bond markets

Bond markets

Currencies and commodities

Currencies and Commodities

The Longer-Term Perspective

The table below demonstrates that while we may experience some short-term weakness in markets, the longer-term performance remains encouraging.

equity market

*Note — all releases are listed in local time.

Anne D Picker
Chief Economist
Econoday

Important Information

Econoday Inc. is a US company that provides financial commentary and indicators to industry professionals. All information provided and views expressed are those of Econoday. Reference in this document to specific securities should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell these securities, but is included for the purposes of illustration only. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. The value of investments can go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount invested.

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