Financial Market Update – 31/7/2018

US

  • US stocks began the week on a soft note as Technology shares extended recent losses. The S&P 500 settled 0.6% lower, with Technology stocks declining 1.8%.
  • Trade concerns also were in the spotlight following reports that several countries – Canada, the European Union, Japan, Mexico and South Korea –  will meet next week to discuss a response to comments made by President Donald Trump about imposing tariffs on US auto imports.
  • Attention will turn today to the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy meeting. Consensus is expecting no near-term change to interest rates but will likely look for clues on the central bank’s path toward normalizing policy.

 

Europe

  • European equities also traded lower Monday. The Euro Stoxx 50 index fell 0.4%, the German DAX index lost 0.5% and the French CAC settled 0.4% lower.
  • In earnings news, Heineken shares declined 6.5% after reporting lower-than-expected results for its second quarter, cutting its margin outlook for the year.

 

Asia

  • Japanese shares closed marginally higher overnight following the Bank of Japan’s policy meeting decision to leave interest rates unchanged.
  • The Chinese manufacturing purchasing managers index –  a gauge of manufacturing activity – declined to 51.2 in July from 51.5 in June, coming in marginally lower than consensus expectations of 51.3.

 

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