Tuesday, 3 July 2018

European and Japanese stocks tumble amid trade tensions, US stocks “best game in town”

Markets were mixed on Monday.

The S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent but the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.8 percent and the Nikkei 225 plunged 2.2 percent.

European and Asian markets were weighed down by remarks made by US President Donald Trump on Sunday that the European Union has not been fair in its trade with the US.

In contrast, US stocks were able to reverse early losses to finish higher on the back of a rally in technology stocks.

Among economic data released on Monday, the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index for the US rose to 60.2 in June from 58.7 in May but the IHS Markit index for eurozone manufacturing fell to an 18-month low of 54.9 in June from 55.5 in May while the National Bureau of Statistics manufacturing PMI for China fell to 51.5 from 51.9.

Michael Pearce, senior US economist at Capital Economics, said in a note that “the strength of the domestic economy is more than offsetting any increased uncertainty on trade policy”.

Morgan Stanley chief equity strategist Michael Wilson said in a note though that trade tensions could weigh on stocks, with several 10 percent corrections in global equity markets at different points.

In the meantime, Jeff Reeves at MarketWatch said that US equities remain “the best game in town”, especially when compared to some large emerging markets like Brazil and China.

However, that did not stop Richard Suttmeier at Forbes from saying that US stocks are at risk of a bear market.

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