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Market Reports

Thursday 18 April 2019 12.00

European shares cautious

European shares ticked lower in early deals on Thursday, as investors cautiously awaited manufacturing data to gauge the health of euro zone economies ahead of the Easter holiday.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index edged down 0.1 percent by 0725 GMT, with all countries’ bourses in the red.

Better-than-expected economic data out of China on Wednesday propelled the pan-region index to a sixth day of gains. The STOXX 600 index hit an eight-month high this week and it has shrugged off a weak opening in recent sessions to close higher.  European markets will remain closed on Friday and Monday for the Easter holiday.

Auto stocks lost ground after a strong surge in the previous session, while healthcare stocks tumbled following an overnight selloff at its U.S. peers on regulatory concerns.

Asian shares dipped amid subdued trade after losses on Wall Street and some profit-taking ahead of a long Easter weekend.  MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.4 percent, reversing course after brushing its highest since late July 2018 early in the trading session.

Australian shares were a shade lower while Japan’s Nikkei dropped 0.8 percent and Chinese blue chips slipped 0.2 percent.

Figures from China earlier on Wednesday showed the world’s second-largest economy grew at a steady 6.4 percent pace in the first quarter, defying forecasts for a slowdown. Attention is now turning to how much more stimulus Beijing will apply without triggering more financial risks.

In commodity markets, oil prices were largely unchanged after settling lower overnight on U.S. government data that showed inventories were drawn down less than an industry report had suggested on Tuesday.

U.S. crude was last up 2 cents at $63.78 a barrel, while global benchmark Brent crude futures edged down 3 cents to $71.59.  Spot gold was last down 0.15 percent at $1,272.20 per ounce , languishing near its 2019 low.

This article was compiled by BOV Asset Management Limited, a member of the BOV Group. BOV Asset Management, TG Complex, Suite 2, Level 3, Brewery Str., Mriehel BKR 3000. Email: infoassetmanagement@bov.com Internet address: www.bovassetmanagement.com. BOV Asset Management is licensed by the MFSA.

 

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