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On 22 April 2019 - US and Asian stocks mostly flat; oil climbs on expiration of Iranian waivers

Anne D Picker

Anne D Picker - Econoday

Structural deleveraging' cited in China; European markets closed.

US markets

US stocks were little changed Monday in a narrow post-Easter session with the Dow Industrials down 0.2 percent, the S&P 500 up 0.1 percent, and the Nasdaq up 0.2 percent.

Oil rose sharply as did shares of oil companies. President Trump said waivers allowing China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey to import Iranian oil will not be extended when they expire on May 2. Countries continuing to import Iranian would be subject to US sanctions. In other White House news, Herman Cain, who faced questions over sexual harassment during his 2012 presidential bid, withdrew his name for nomination to the Federal Reserve Board. 

Tesla fell sharply in reaction to a video of a parked Model S exploding in China. The carmaker will post its earnings on Wednesday. Boeing, which will also post its earnings on Wednesday, also fell sharply following a New York Times report, one denied by the company, questioning quality control at a 787 manufacturing plant in South Carolina. Bed Bath & Beyond fell sharply on news the home furnishings retailer plans to shake up its board, while Kimberly-Clark rose sharply after the Kleenex maker posted quarterly results and said it expects to sell assets in its consumer tissue business.

In economic news, sales of existing homes fell 4.9 percent to a 5.210 million annual rate in March which followed, however, an unusual 11.2 percent jump in February. In a plus, the 3-month average, at 5.207 million in March, rose 1.4 percent for the best showing since November. Nevertheless, home sales have been in a long slump as the current average compares unfavorably with a 5.563 million peak back in December 2017.

Also released Monday was the Chicago Fed's national activity index which did improve in March but, pulled down by broad weakness including for manufacturing, remained in the negative column at minus 0.15 to indicate that economic growth in the month was below average. The 3-month average, at minus 0.24, was deeper in the negative column to indicate possible trouble for first-quarter data. US GDP will be posted on Friday amid expectations for respectable annual growth of 2.2 percent.

These data reflect observations at 4:00 PM US ET. Brent spot crude advanced US$2.16 to $74.13 while gold rose US$1.30 to $1,277.30. The US dollar slightly firmed against the Australian dollar, was little changed against the yen and the pound, and it slipped against the euro and the Canadian dollar. The yield on the US Treasury 30-year bond increased 3 basis points to 2.99 percent while the 10-year note increased 2 basis points to 2.58 percent.

European markets

Stock markets in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland were all closed in observance of Easter Monday.

Asia Pacific Markets

Asian stocks were flat to negative Monday as Chinese policy makers, following last week's solid 6.4 percent showing for GDP, indicated that future stimulus measures, though substantial, may nevertheless be limited. The Shanghai Composite fell 1.7 percent, the Kospi was unchanged while both the Nikkei and the Topix posted thin 0.1 percent gains. 

China's politburo said it will continue to promote growth but cited "structural deleveraging" in order to cool the property market. The news raised talk that authorities are focusing their attention on limiting the risk of possible overheating.

Losers among the Shanghai Composite included Aurora Optoelectronics, Koal Software, and Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt, all down roughly 10 percent. All rising 10 percent were Chengdu Xuguang Electronics, Beijing Jingcheng Machinery Electric, and Liaoning Hongyang Energy Resource Invest. 

Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group declined on a report the firm will take a large write-off related to its credit-card unit. Shima Seiki posted a sharp loss after the maker of computerized knitting machines lowered profit guidance citing customer plans to limit their capital investment. Home builder Daiwa House rose sharply on earnings. Friday will be a heavy day for Japanese earnings with Hitachi, Komatsu, Sony, and Tokyo Electron all scheduled to report.

Stock markets in Australia and Hong Kong were closed Monday. Markets in Japan will be closed for 10 straight days and six sessions beginning on April 27. This year's Golden Week is being extended to celebrate the accession of Crown Prince Naruhito.

Looking forward

Both Hong Kong and Singapore will post their consumer price reports on Tuesday. Composite flashes for April will be released for France, Germany and the Eurozone and also for the Eurozone, the consumer confidence flash will be posted. Tuesday's data in the US will include new home sales and the FHFA house price index.

Global Stock Markets

 

Index

Apr 22 2019

Daily Change

% Change Daily

North America

United States

Dow

26511.05

-48.49

-0.2

 

NASDAQ

8015.27

17.21

0.2

 

S&P 500

2907.97

2.94

0.1

Canada

S&P/TSX Comp

16577.28

-35.53

-0.2

Europe

UK

FTSE 100

*

*

*

France

CAC

*

*

*

Germany

XETRA DAX

*

*

*

Italy

MIB

*

*

*

Spain

Ibex 35

*

*

*

Sweden

OMX Stockholm 30

*

*

*

Switzerland

SMI

*

*

*

Asia/Pacific

Australia

All Ordinaries

*

*

*

Japan

Nikkei 225

22217.9

17.34

0.1

 

Topix

1618.62

1.69

0.1

Hong Kong

Hang Seng

*

*

*

S. Korea

Kospi

2216.65

0.50

0.0

Singapore

STI

3357.7

10.12

0.3

China

Shanghai Comp

3215.04

-55.76

-1.7

Taiwan

TAIEX

10987.71

19.21

0.2

India

Sensex 30

38645.18

-495.10

-1.3

*Markets closed
Data Source - Haver Analytics

Note: all releases are listed in local time.

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