Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Markets fall following Italian elections

An inconclusive Italian election on Monday left markets with more uncertainty. While the STOXX Europe 600 fell just 0.1 percent, the S&P 500 fell a sharper 1.8 percent.

Mixed economic data on Monday also did little to boost markets.

In the US, the Chicago Fed's National Activity Index fell to -0.32 in January from +0.25 in December. However, the three-month moving average rose to +0.30 in January from +0.23 in December.

A more recent regional survey from the Dallas Fed showed that its general business activity index fell to 2.2 in February from 5.5 in January, indicating continued but slower growth. Its manufacturing production index fell to 6.2 from 12.9.

Earlier on Monday, an HSBC report showed that its preliminary February manufacturing PMI for China fell to 50.4 from 52.3 in January. Nevertheless, HSBC economist Qu Hongbin noted that the "Chinese economy is still on track for a gradual recovery" and that the "slower pace of manufacturing expansion partly reflects the impact of a week-long Chinese New Year holiday and partly the continued softness of external demand".

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