European shares recover after weak data
Send a link to a friend
[February 15, 2019]
By Tom Wilson
LONDON (Reuters) - European shares
recovered on Friday after weak U.S. and Chinese economic data earlier
sent global equity markets into a dive.
After opening lower, Europe's STOXX 600 nudged up 0.2 percent despite
weakness in German equities. Demand for safe-haven currencies remained
Stocks fell after a U.S. report that retail sales had dropped in
December to their lowest since 2009 and by data on Chinese producer
prices, which were little changed for a seventh straight month in
Germany's main stock index, which is exposed to the Chinese economy
because of its large number of exporters, was down 0.2 percent by 0932
GMT. It had fallen as much as 0.5 percent.
European car stocks, a bellwether for the continent's economy, fell 1
percent as sales dropped and the deadline approached for a U.S. Commerce
Department that could lead to the imposition of tariffs.
"After hot markets of late, a little bit of cold water has been poured
on bourses over the last 24 hours," said Deutsche Bank's strategist Jim
The slow start in European shares reflected nerves across global equity
markets. MSCI's world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries,
Emerging markets were set for their first back-to-back weekly loss since
late last year. The MSCIEF index of emerging market stocks dropped 0.8
Investors in Asia took fright early after the U.S. retail sales report.
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.1 percent as market in Seoul,
Tokyo and Shanghai all lost ground.
Worries about the United States, which many considered a bright spot in
the world economy, offset some optimism over trade talks in Beijing
between the United States and China.
The two top U.S. negotiators were due to meet Chinese President Xi
Jinping on Friday, but no decision has been taken to extend a March 1
deadline for a deal.
[to top of second column]
Traders work at their desks in front of the German share price
index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, June
24, 2016 after Britain voted to leave the European Union in the EU
BREXIT referendum. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a tweet on Friday
that he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had
"productive meetings" with China's Vice Premier Liu He.
The Japanese yen and other safe-haven currencies made gains as the
market awaited developments in the trade talks. The dollar remained
fairly robust in spite of the U.S. retail figures, trading up 0.2
percent at 97.1 against a basket of major currencies.
The euro was 0.2 percent lower at $1.1278 and headed for a second
week of losses. It is down by 1.7 percent so far this year after
discouraging economic data from the euro zone.
The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield fell to 2.6483 percent, wiping out
most of its rise this week.
Commodities diverged from wider market trends. Crude oil briefly
reached 2019 highs above $65 per barrel after OPEC-led supply cuts
and a bigger-than-expected cut by Saudi Arabia this week encouraged
The global Brent benchmark last traded at $64.75, up 18 cents, or
0.28 percent, from the last close. It has risen 4.5 percent this
For Reuters Live Markets blog on European and UK stock markets,
please click on: [LIVE/]
(Reporting by Tom Wilson, additional reporting by Marc Jones and
Helen Reid; editing by Larry King)
[© 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2019 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.