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Key global equity index poised for 4th week of gains, with focus on earnings

World shares were little changed on Friday as mixed corporate profits and economic data that met expectations struggled to offset concerns over trade and central bank policy, though a key global equity index was still set for a fourth week of gains.


Reuters Last Updated at 27 Jul 2018, 21:07 IST

World shares were little changed on Friday as mixed corporate profits and economic data that met expectations struggled to offset concerns over trade and central bank policy, though a key global equity index was still set for the fourth week of gains.

The MSCI All-Country World Index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, was up just 0.07 percent and set for the sixth session of gains, a run not seen since February, as well as its fourth weekly advance.

From Europe to the United States, investors surveyed a host of corporate results and rewarded the strong performances, from the Spanish bank BBVA - which gained 1.4 percent, to Amazon.com Inc, which touched a record high after its profit doubled Wall Street estimates. Amazon shares were up nearly 2 percent in late morning trading.

Other companies were punished for disappointing results, including Intel Corp, which was down 8 percent in late morning trading after its fast-growing data center business missed estimates.

Data showed the U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in nearly four years in the second quarter, as consumers boosted spending and farmers rushed shipments of soybeans to China to beat retaliatory trade tariffs before they took effect in early July.

"We're getting good growth and still very low inflation," said Joe LaVorgna, chief economist for the Americas at French bank Natixis.

But the economic growth figures were widely expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9.92 points, or 0.04 percent, to 25,536.99, the S&P 500 lost 5.61 points, or 0.20 percent, to 2,831.83 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 44.29 points, or 0.56 percent, to 7,807.89.

Bonds did not sell off, either, as some investors had expected on strongly positive news. Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields slipped from their highest level in 1-1/2 months and last rose 3/32 in price to yield 2.9653 percent, from 2.975 percent late on Thursday.

Rates markets await an important week of meetings at the U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan (BoJ). Earlier speculation that the BoJ might tweak its policies rattled global markets. That bank's aggressive efforts to keep yields in its own markets low has pushed investors to rates markets elsewhere, keeping a lid on yields in the United States and beyond.

Japan's 10-year government bond yield hit one-year highs even as the BOJ conducted special, unlimited buying for the second time this week that kept a lid on the bonds from shooting higher in yield.

Helped by the yield spike, the Japanese yen strengthened 0.23 percent versus the greenback at 110.97 per dollar.

Against a basket of currencies, the greenback fell 0.07 percent.

U.S. disagreements with its trading partners slipped from the headlines a bit after an agreement on Wednesday to negotiate with the European Union, but Chinese markets still showed scars of the unresolved rifts.

The main Shanghai index closed down 0.4 percent amid the still-unresolved standoff between the U.S. and China on trade.

"While the prospect of tariffs on European cars has diminished, it hasn't gone away completely, which means inevitably the market shifts its attention elsewhere," said CMC Markets chief markets analyst Michael Hewson.

"That elsewhere concerns what could happen next with respect to China, and the prospect of an escalation there," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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