On 06 March, 2018 - Stocks were mostly higher as trade tensions eased somewhat

Anne D Picker
Anne D Picker
Econoday7 March 2018

Investors are waiting for central bank decisions and key data later in the week.

US markets

US stocks rose Tuesday in choppy trading as investors watched anxiously for signs US President Donald Trump would scrap proposed tariffs to avoid a trade war. US lawmakers stepped up calls for Trump to pull back from proposed import tariffs on steel and aluminum while others talked down the possibility of a trade war, helping to calm nerves after the President's proposal sparked a sell-off Thursday. Investors were also eyeing the news that North Korea was open to the possibility of talks with the United States on denuclearization. The S&P and Nasdaq added 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent respectively while the Dow Jones industrials were up 9.36 points.

Target declined after the retailer reported lower-than-expected profit for the holiday quarter. Qualcomm dropped after a US government national security panel said it identified potential risks that warrant a full investigation of Broadcom's $117-billion bid for the chipmaker. Utilities shares including Pinnacle West Capital and FirstEnergy retreated. Leggett & Platt and Netflix were higher.

January factory orders were down a monthly 1.4 percent. Excluding transportation equipment, where aircraft and also motor vehicles are tracked, orders declined 0.3 percent. Nondurable goods orders were up 0.8 percent while durables dropped 3.6 percent.

These data reflect observations at 4:00 PM US ET. Gold at the afternoon London fixing was up US$11.00 to US$1,331.40. Copper futures were up 0.9 percent to US$3.16. WTI spot crude was down 13 US cents to US$62.44. Dated Brent spot crude was up 11 US cents to US$65.65. The US dollar was up against the Swiss franc. It retreated against the euro, pound and the Canadian and Australian dollars. The currency was virtually unchanged against the yen. The Dollar Index was down 0.4 percent. The yields on both the US Treasury 30 year bond and the 10 year note were unchanged at 3.15 percent and 2.88 percent respectively.

European markets

These data reflect observations at 4:00 PM US ET. Gold at the afternoon London fixing was up US$11.00 to US$1,331.40. Copper futures were up 0.9 percent to US$3.16. WTI spot crude was down 13 US cents to US$62.44. Dated Brent spot crude was up 11 US cents to US$65.65. The US dollar was up against the Swiss franc. It retreated against the euro, pound and the Canadian and Australian dollars. The currency was virtually unchanged against the yen. The Dollar Index was down 0.4 percent. The yields on both the US Treasury 30 year bond and the 10 year note were unchanged at 3.15 percent and 2.88 percent respectively.

Evonik Industries declined after the specialty chemicals firm said that its Board would evaluate all options for the future development of the methacrylate business. Thales surged after saying it expects to exceed medium-term targets. Smurfit Kappa jumped after the packaging company rejected a takeover offer from International Paper.

Intertek Group climbed after the product testing, inspection and certification company lifted its full year dividend after reporting a 13 percent increase in pretax profit for 2017. Fiat Chrysler, Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW hit earlier this week by concerns over a trade war after President Donald Trump proposed imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium advanced.

William Hill rose after signing a binding agreement to dispose of William Hill Australia to CrownBet Holdings Pty for an enterprise value of A$300 million. Ashtead Group declined after the company forecast full-year results in line with its expectations.

Telecom Italia advanced on a Bloomberg report that activist investor Elliott Management is considering nominating directors to its board and pushing for other changes at the company. Novartis dropped after the company paid out its dividend. Nestlé declined but Roche gained. Geberit and LafargeHolcim retreated. Adecco declined on a broker downgrade.

Asia Pacific Markets

Asian stocks rebounded Tuesday amid receding worries about a trade war — US President Donald Trump is facing mounting pressure from political allies to reconsider his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Shanghai Composite was up 1.0 percent after reports that China's securities regulator is considering giving Chinese investors access to offshore-listed tech companies via depositary receipts. The Hang Seng jumped 2.1 percent.

Nikkei added 1.8 percent and the Topix was up 1.3 percent as the yen weakened on improved risk appetite amid easing concerns about a global trade war. The US dollar's bounce lifted exporters with Honda Motor, Sony, Panasonic, Toyota Motor and Suzuki Motor advancing. Among steel makers, Japan Steel Works, Nippon Steel and JFE Holdings were higher along with oil firms Inpex and Japan Petroleum.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Tuesday that a future exit from ultra-easy monetary policy would need to be “very gradual”. Kuroda startled markets Friday when he told the lower house of parliament that the central bank could consider exiting easy policy if his inflation target was met in fiscal 2019 as projected — remarks that sent the yen and bond yields higher. Speaking in parliament again Tuesday (this time to the upper house), he said the BoJ had the necessary tools to engineer a smooth exit from easy policy and was already brainstorming how a future stimulus exit could affect its balance sheet, but sounded caution about withdrawing too quickly.

Both the S&P/ASX and All Ordinaries were up 1.1 percent. The Reserve Bank of Australia left its key interest rate unchanged at 1.5 percent, saying the low level of interest rates is continuing to support the Australian economy. Woodside Petroleum, Origin Energy, Santos and Beach Energy jumped after crude oil prices rose more than 2 percent overnight amid reports that Libya is suffering supply interruptions. BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group advanced. Gold miners Evolution Mining and Newcrest Mining also were higher. News Corp and Telstra rose after they signed definitive agreements to combine Foxtel and Fox Sports Australia into a single company by the end of June.

The Kospi was up 1.5 percent as investors bought technology shares. The Sensex tumbled 1.3 percent, extending losses for the fifth straight session, with banking stocks coming under heavy selling pressure.

Looking forward

Australia reports fourth quarter gross domestic product. France releases January merchandise trade. The Eurozone releases revised fourth quarter GDP. Canada will release January merchandise trade data. The Bank of Canada will announce its monetary policy decision. In the US, February ADP private employment will be released along with January international trade and fourth quarter productivity and costs. The Federal Reserve will publish its Beige Book in preparation for the March 20 and 21 FOMC meeting.

Global Stock Markets

 

Index

6 March 2018

Daily Change

% Change Daily

North America

 

 

 

 

United States

Dow

24884.12

9.36

0.0

 

NASDAQ

7372.01

41.31

0.6

 

S&P 500

2728.12

7.18

0.3

Canada

S&P/TSX Comp

15545.19

3.91

0.0

Europe

 

 

 

 

UK

FTSE 100

7146.75

30.77

0.4

France

CAC

5170.23

3.00

0.1

Germany

XETRA DAX

12113.87

23.00

0.2

Italy

MIB

22202.50

382.59

1.8

Spain

Ibex 35

9586.80

-4.00

0.0

Sweden

OMX Stockholm 30

1559.94

12.00

0.8

Switzerland

SMI

8765.88

-42.50

-0.5

Asia/Pacific

 

 

 

 

Australia

All Ordinaries

6061.46

65.07

1.1

Japan

Nikkei 225

21417.76

375.67

1.8

 

Topix

1716.30

21.51

1.3

Hong Kong

Hang Seng

30510.73

624.34

2.1

S. Korea

Kospi

2411.41

36.35

1.5

Singapore

STI

3491.92

53.31

1.6

China

Shanghai Comp

3289.64

32.71

1.0

Taiwan

TAIEX

10784.34

141.44

1.3

India

Sensex 30

33317.20

-429.58

-1.3

Data Source — Haver Analytics

 

 

 

Note: All releases are listed in local time.

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