World stocks slip as trade fears set in
SINGAPORE (AP) — World markets slipped on Monday as steep losses by U.S. technology stocks and a weakening Chinese yuan shook confidence in overall growth.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX fell 0.3 percent in early trading to 12,824.32 while France’s CAC 40 was down 0.4 percent at 5,490.90. Britain’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.2 percent to 7,683.99. Futures pointed to small losses on Wall Street, with the contract for Dow futures down 0.1 percent at 25,400.00 and S&P 500 futures also 0.1 percent lower at 2,813.90.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.7 percent to 22,544.84 and South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.1 percent lower to 2,293.51. The Shanghai Composite index slipped 0.2 percent to 2,869.05 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 0.3 percent to 28,733.13. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 gave up 0.4 percent to 6,278.40. Shares gained in Indonesia but were lower in Taiwan and Singapore.
TECH STOCK LOSSES: Technology stocks led a slide in U.S. stocks on Friday, adding to the market’s losses from another tech-driven sell-off a day earlier. On Friday, Twitter announced that its monthly users declined in the second quarter, causing its stock to plummet 20.5 percent to $34.12. It was the company’s second-biggest loss since going public in 2013. Snap, the company behind the Snapchat messaging app, slid 4 percent to $12.83. Facebook shares gave up 0.8 percent to $174.89 a day after the social media giant led a slide in technology stocks that snapped the S&P 500′s three-day winning streak. Amazon.com bucked the trend, adding 0.5 percent to $1,817.27 after the online retailer reported its biggest profit ever as its advertising and cloud computing businesses kept growing.
U.S. ECONOMIC GROWTH: The U.S. economy accelerated last quarter at an annual rate of 4.1 percent, its best showing since 2014, the Commerce Department said Friday. Consumers spent tax-cut money, businesses stepped up investment and exporters rushed to ship their goods ahead of retaliatory tariffs. President Donald Trump was thrilled with what he called an “amazing” growth rate and said it wasn’t “a one-time shot.” But most economists disagree and say the pace of growth in the April-June quarter won’t last. Friday also marked the end of the busiest stretch of the second-quarter earnings season, with roughly a third of companies in the S&P 500 reporting results. Most companies delivered better-than-expected results and favorable outlooks. That has reinforced the underlying perception in the financial markets that the U.S. economy is performing strongly and that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates this week.
ANALYST’S VIEWPOINT: “The (Chinese) renminbi is weak, reflecting the wider trend despite Trump and (European Commission President Jean-Claude) Juncker slapping each other on the back” and agreeing to hold off on new tariffs, said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank. “Investors are realizing that the main trade risks lie between the U.S. and China,” he added. The renminbi, or yuan, has been skidding since February, mostly because of slower economic growth in China and rising interest rates in the U.S.
BOJ MEETING: Traders are looking out for the Bank of Japan’s statement on monetary policy due Tuesday. Financing costs will rise if the bank decides to steepen the yield curve. This is markedly different from yields turning higher on their own. In that case, bonds will drop and investors will be driven toward equities.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 77 cents to $69.46 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 92 cents to settle at $68.69 per barrel on Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 36 cents to $75.12.
CURRENCIES: The dollar increased to 111.08 yen from 111.00 yen on Friday. The euro rose to $1.1678 from $1.1656.