Markets in Asia-Pacific were weaker on Thursday despite a benign close on Wall Street the night before, with China’s Shanghai Composite Index one of the worst performing with a drop of over 1.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped below the key 30,000 points level. Japan was the exception in the region, gaining as the yen weakened against currency majors.
The annual rise in Chinese inflation was as expected at 2.3% in March.
The long-awaited news on a Brexit extension failed to give sterling much of a lift today, with the pound stable against the dollar and slightly weaker against the euro.
Eurozone markets were mixed after a weaker signal from Asia, but the Euro Stoxx 50 was barely changed on the day.
The euro was reasonably resilient considering the European Central Bank’s downbeat assessment on the Eurozone yesterday.
US futures suggest a slightly weaker open on Wall Street as concerns over global growth intensify. The Fed minutes yesterday chimed with the IMF’s downgrading the world economy earlier in the week, meaning that caution has been the watchword in recent trading sessions.
After Wednesday’s inflation data and FOMC minutes, the next big event on the week’s economics calendar is Friday’s University of Michigan sentiment index. Today sees weekly initial jobless claims to April 6 released.
All eyes are open on the start of earnings season, with JPMorgan (JPM) the first of the big names to kick off on Friday.
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