Most US equity indices ended Friday in the red while futures are also looking shaky, as traders are waiting nervously ahead of this week’s FOMC interest rate statement. Data from the US economy (PPI, retail sales, CPI, housing data, manufacturing PMI) have been weaker than expected so Fed officials might issue a more cautious announcement and dash hopes of a rate hike in June.
The Dow 30 index is up 21.23 points to 18,003.75 (+0.12%) and futures for June delivery are down 16 points (-0.09%). The S&P 500 index is up 0.10 points to 2,091.58 (+0.01%) and futures are down 2.25 points (-0.11%). The Nasdaq is down 39.66 points to 4,906.23 (-0.80%) and futures are down 5.75 points (-0.13%).
The S&P 500 VIX, which is considered a gauge of market uncertainty, is down 0.73 points to 13.22 (-5.23%) to indicate that risk appetite is still present. However, the upcoming rate statements from the Bank of Japan and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand also pose event risks.
European markets still in the red
Stock markets in the European region closed lower while futures are signaling further declines. The German DAX is down 62.24 points to 10,373.49 (-0.60%) and futures for June delivery are down 55 points (-0.52%). The French CAC 40 is down 13.17 points to 4,569.66 (-0.29%) and futures are down 3.8 points (-0.08%). The Euro Stoxx 50 is down 13.73 points to 3,137.96 (-0.44%) and futures are down 9 points (-0.29%).
PMI readings from the manufacturing and services sectors in Germany and France came in mixed, but the region’s overall results were in line with expectations. In the UK, sentiment picked up after US President Obama’s visit as he urged citizens to vote for staying in the EU in the June referendum. Still, the FTSE was down 71 points to 6,310.44 (-1.11%) while futures are down 15.3 points (-0.24%).
Asian markets down on weak oil, bank holidays
Australian and New Zealand banks are closed for the holiday today. Risk aversion seems to be driving price action so far, as the Nikkei is down 132.87 points to 17,439.62 (-0.76%) and the China A50 index is down 60.35 points to 9,597.35 (-0.60%). Futures are in the red across the board so far and oil prices have retreated to $43.16/barrel for WTI crude oil and $44.65/barrel for Brent crude oil.
Shares of Mitsubishi Motors slipped after reports showed that the company falsified its fuel economy test data to make emission levels look favorable. Asian energy shares are also looking weaker.
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