Global Stock Markets Decline
APRIL 29, 2016
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Still, major markets on track to end month with gains.
Global stocks traded mostly lower Friday, but major markets remained on track to end the month with gains.
U.S. stocks opened lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 0.3%.
The Stoxx Europe 600 was down 1.5%, following a weak session in Asia, as late losses on Wall Street Thursday reverberated overseas.
The Dow suffered its biggest drop since February on Thursday, after investor Carl Icahn said he no longer has a stake in Apple, sending tech shares tumbling.
Haven assets continued to gain Friday. Gold was up 1.1% at $1,279 an ounce, while the yen hit an 18-month high against the dollar, weighed by continued disappointment over the Bank of Japan ’s decision to leave its monetary policy unchanged on Thursday.
The dollar was last down 1% against the yen at ¥107.0810. “The message from price action is telling,” said Nicholas Ferres, investment director at Eastspring. People worry the Bank of Japan’s policy may be ineffective, he said, citing persistent weakness in the country’s growth and inflation.
While stocks in Europe and the U.S. are on track to post monthly gains, markets have struggled to keep the momentum going in recent sessions, as economic and corporate readings have painted a mixed picture.
Data Friday showed eurozone inflation fell into negative territory in April, missing expectations, while the region’s gross domestic product rose to precrisis levels.
On the corporate front, U.S. profits are on track to fall for a third consecutive quarter, in the longest slide in earnings since the financial crisis, according to Thomson Reuters.
After U.S. markets closed Thursday, however, Amazon.com Inc. reported its most profitable quarter ever, sending shares in the company up nearly 10% on Friday morning.
“The fundamental question dividing the market now is whether we’re rallying off the bottom, or if we are two-thirds of the way down with more losses to come,” said Neil Passmore, CEO of Hannam and Partners.
In currencies, the dollar continued to fall following weak U.S. first-quarter growth figures. The euro was last up 0.8% to $1.1441.
The Chinese yuan was more than half a percent higher against the dollar, its biggest daily increase since the currency was de-pegged from the greenback in 2005.
Stock markets in Hong Kong and Shanghai also fell Friday, while markets in Japan were closed for a holiday.
Shares in Australia, however, eked out small gains, buoyed by rising commodity prices. Brent crude oil was last up 0.8% at $48.16 a barrel, after settling at a fresh high for the year on Thursday.
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[ SITREP - 02:00 AM EST]
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Friday, April 29, 2016
Global Stock Markets Decline