Saturday, 25 May 2013

Stocks stabilise after Thursday tumble

After the big falls on Thursday, stocks were mostly stable on Friday.

The S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent, the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.2 percent and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.3 percent.

The Nikkei 225, which fell 7.3 percent on Thursday to trigger the turbulence in global markets, actually managed a 0.9 percent gain after a volatile trading session.

Economic data on Friday were mostly positive.

In the US, durable goods orders rose 3.3 percent in April after falling 5.9 percent in March.

The increase was driven by an 18.1 percent jump in aircraft orders. However, even excluding transportation equipment, orders increased 1.3 percent.

Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft rose 1.2 percent in April after a 0.9 percent increase the prior month.

There were also positive data from Germany.

German first quarter growth was confirmed at 0.1 percent. Declines in construction activity and investment held down growth.

However, growth may have improved since. The Ifo institute’s business climate index rose to 105.7 in May from 104.4 in April, the first increase in three months.

Also improving is German consumer confidence. The GfK consumer sentiment index will rise to 6.5 in June, the highest since September 2007, from 6.2 in May.

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