The S&P 500 pared initial losses and bucked the trend of weak equity markets by closing in positive territory yesterday. Technology stocks were among the primary underperformers for the session, dragged lower by Apple (-2.4%) as investors fretted about signs of poor demand for the company’s latest iPhone model.
Further signs of mild risk-aversion came as the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell 1bp to 2.33%, while gold snapped a three-day run of losses to trade 0.7% higher at $1,284 an ounce.
European equity markets underperformed their US peers yesterday, with the Euro Stoxx 50 index falling 0.5%. Broader markets were initially unsettled by concerns about Chinese debt following comments from the country’s central bankers and were further compounded by political developments in Spain.
The Spanish government vowed to begin the process of taking direct control over Catalonia after the region’s president, Carles Puigdemont, declined to renounce claims to independence. Spanish equities and bond prices both declined following the news.
Japanese stocks settled broadly unchanged overnight, as strength in Materials and Utilities was offset by weakness in Real Estate and Financial stocks.
Polls for the Japanese elections this Sunday suggest that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should win a two thirds majority in parliament and secure his third term.