Markets Briefing: Stocks lower as growth fears reverberate


Equities are lower across much of Asia with European and US indices set to follow after more economic data pointed to the effects of the trade war on growth, while the wait for signs of a breakthrough to end it continued.

According to a government survey, China’s factory sector contracted for a third consecutive month in February with the country’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index at three-year low. Meanwhile, Japan’s industrial production fell at its fastest pace in a year in January as the motor vehicle and electronics sectors posted declines while retail sales growth missed estimates.

Sentiment suffered further after cautious comments from Donald Trump’s top trade official over the US-China trade dispute. Robert Lighthizer said China would need to do more than just buy more US goods before a permanent trade deal can be struck.

According to futures trade, London’s FTSE 100 will slip 0.2 per cent, with Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax 30 set to drop 0.3 per cent. Early US futures trade pointed to a fall of 0.5 per cent for the S&P 500.


Coming up

  • France fourth-quarter growth data (updated reading)
  • Germany consumer inflation
  • US fourth-quarter gross domestic product data

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