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Asian Markets at Close Report

European Markets at Close Report

Feb 20, 2017

Asia, Europe & U.S. Stock Markets Closing Reports on February 20m 2017


marketwatch.com

Ese Erheriene


Equity markets in Japan and Australia started the week slightly lower, while yields on sovereign bonds fell in Asia trading Monday.
In Hong Kong and China, however, markets started the day trading higher. Analysts don’t expect market participants in the region to have a lot of trading cues today.
“The U.S. markets are closed today, so I’m not expecting a lot of strong movements,” said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Group.
In Japan, a larger-than-expected January trade deficit weighed on stocks; imports rose for the first time in two years. The Nikkei NIK, +0.09%   opened at a one-week low, though it rebounded and was recently 0.1% lower.
Elsewhere, the S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -0.18%   was off 0.4% amid a modest pullback in many commodities, while Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.18%   fell 0.1% even though Samsung Electronics 005930, +2.11%  — by far that index’s biggest component — rose 1.4%.
The Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.47%  , which has been up in six of the past eight weeks, continued to climb with an early 0.6% gain. The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, +1.18%   was up 0.4%.
Oil companies declined after crude futures posted their largest weekly decline in a month due to record-high gasoline stockpiles. In Australia, Oil Search OSH, -1.67%   fell 1.8% while Japanese oil explorer Inpex 1605, -0.75%   eased 1.2%.
Bond yields, which fall as prices rise, were in decline as some money moved into haven assets. Many sovereign-debt markets were seeing lower yields, with the U.S. 10-year down to 2.42%.
In general, political risks in the U.S. and France have been sapping risk appetite lately, OCBC Bank said.
Later in the global trading day, consumer-confidence data is due from the European Union, which could cause ripples in European markets.

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EUROPE


marketwatch.com

Victor Reklaitis


European stocks scored modest gains Monday, helped by jumps for Royal Bank of Scotland, Rolls-Royce and furniture seller Steinhoff International.
Investors also tracked a tightening French presidential race, as well as progress made on debt-laden Greece’s bailout at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers.
The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.22%  tacked on 0.2% to end at 371.04, building on last week’s gain of 0.8%. The pan-European benchmark logged its highest close since December 2015 during last week’s action.
Trading was somewhat subdued Monday, as U.S. markets were closed for Presidents Day.
“Political developments in France and Greece and the absence of U.S. investors, who were busy celebrating Presidents Day, meant European stocks showed no clear direction on Monday,” said Jasper Lawler, senior market analyst at London Capital Group, in a note.
“Europe is caught between the good news of a likely Greek bailout deal and the bad news of rising anti-EU sentiment in France before its election,” Lawler added.
There has been a deadlock in Greek bailout talks, but the European Union’s economics chief, Pierre Moscovici, said Monday after the meeting of ministers that both sides are committed to reaching a deal.
Meanwhile, a poll showed French populist Marine Le Pen gaining ground on her main election rivals.
Read: 6 ways Europe could trigger market turmoil in 2017
The euro EURUSD, +0.0000%  was trading at $1.0623, up from $1.0608 late Friday.