The world economic outlook is not bright (Johannes EISELE)
New York (AFP) – Global stocks mostly fell Friday amid worries over slowing global growth and continued uncertainty on US-China trade talks.
Key European stock markets were all lower at the close, with Frankfurt again the weakest performer and Paris and London also retreating.
US stocks also were under pressure, spending most of the day in the red before recovering and ending nearly unchanged.
“After the rebound in January, we go back to fundamentals,” said Maris Ogg, analyst and portfolio manager at Tower Bridge Advisors, who said commentary from companies during earnings season had emphasized sluggishness in Europe and China.
“If the deceleration continues in Europe and China, it will be very difficult for the US alone to buck against these trends,” Ogg said. “The logical approach is to take some risk off the table.”
Analysts cited the latest signals on US-China trade talks, which were not especially upbeat.
On Thursday, US President Donald Trump said he did not expect to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline for the two economic powers to reach a deal before new tariff actions came into effect.
Also, White House economist Larry Kudlow doused expectations by saying Thursday that Washington and Beijing were a “sizeable distance” apart in talks.
“The past 24 hours has been dominated by growth concerns, with UK, eurozone, and now Australian GDP expected to come in significantly lower than had previously been speculated,” IG analyst Joshua Mahony said.
Earlier, Tokyo led an Asia-wide slump, while Hong Kong returned from the three-day Lunar New Year break also in the red .
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are due to travel to China next week for a third round of talks.
Negotiators are working towards an agreement before the 90-day tariff truce expires March 1, after which the US is set to more than double punitive duties on $200 billion in Chinese goods.
“While progress has been made in these fraught negotiations, the two sides still remain some way from a deal, denting market sentiment,” said Mahony.
– Key figures around 2200 GMT –
New York – Dow: DOWN 0.3 percent at 25,106.33 (close)
New York – S&P 500: UP 0.1 percent at 2,707.88 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: UP 0.1 percent at 7,298.20 (close)
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.3 percent at 7,071.18 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 1.1 percent at 10,906.78 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.5 percent at 4,961.64 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.5 percent at 3,135.62 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 2.0 percent at 20,333.17 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.2 percent at 27,946.32 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: Closed for a public holiday
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1325 from $1.1341 at 2200 GMT Thursday
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 109.72 yen from 109.82
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2937 from $1.2952
Euro/pound: DOWN at 87.44 pence from 87.55
Oil – Brent Crude: UP 47 cents at $62.10 per barrel
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 8 cents at $52.72 per barrel
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