US stock indices closed another day in the red, albeit with slightly smaller declines on Thursday. The S&P 500 index ended 0.35 points down to 2,064.11 (-0.02%), the Nasdaq ended 23.35 points down to 4,737.33 (-0.49%) but the Dow 30 index managed to gain 9.38 points to 17,720.50 (+0.05%). The S&P 500 VIX, which is considered a gauge of market uncertainty, ended 0.28 points down to 14.41 (-1.91%) to indicate that risk appetite is still present.
Shares of another retailing giant Nordstrom slid 17% after the company reported weaker than expected earnings. While revenue increased 1% to $3.25 billion, profits fell to $46 million or $0.26 per share from $128 million in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts had been expecting to see $3.26 billion in profits or $0.46 per share.
European markets down on slow industrial production, BOE statement
European equities also ended mostly lower, weighed down by a 0.8% decline in euro zone industrial production and Brexit warnings from the Bank of England. According to BOE Governor Carney, the UK risks falling into a technical recession if it decides to leave the European Union, adding that monetary policy cannot immediately alleviate any economic shocks then.
The German DAX closed 113.20 points down to 9,862.12 (-1.13%), the French CAC 40 closed 23.40 points down to 4,293.27 (-0.54%), the Euro Stoxx 50 closed 22.09 points down to 2,934.62 (-0.75%) and the London FTSE closed 58.30 points down to 6,104.19 (-0.95%).
Euro zone flash GDP readings from its top economies are up for release today ahead of the region’s growth figure, which is expected to print a 0.6% expansion. Also lined up are the German final CPI reading and French non-farm payrolls. BOE MPC members Haldane and Weale are set to give testimonies and additional anti-Brexit remarks could bring more jitters to the London stock market.
Asian markets slide lower ahead of Chinese weekend data
Risk aversion appears to be making a comeback in today’s Asian session, as equities are mostly in the red. The Nikkei is down 190.30 points to 16,456.95 (-1.14%), the China A50 index is down 1.43 points to 9,381.62 (-0.02%) and the S&P ASX 200 index is down 40.60 points to 5,318.70 (-0.76%).
Chinese industrial production is slated to drop from 6.8% to 6.5% year-over-year in April while retail sales could improve from 10.5% to 10.6%. Fixed asset investment could also post some gains, thereby renewing demand for Australia’s raw materials and commodity exports.
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