Saturday, 23 March 2019

Markets fall as purchasing managers indices show further slowdown

Markets were mostly lower on Friday.

The S&P 500 plunged 1.9 percent while the STOXX Europe 600 tumbled 1.2 percent.

Earlier in Asia, markets were marginally higher.

Sentiment was dented by flash readings on purchasing managers indices showing further slowdown in the US and Europe.

IHS Markit’s US manufacturing index fell to 52.5 in March from 53.0 in February while the services PMI fell to 54.8 from 56.0.

In Europe, Markit’s composite PMI for the eurozone fell to 51.3 from 51.9. In particular, Germany’s manufacturing PMI fell to 44.7 while France’s composite PMI fell to 48.7

The 10-year US Treasury yield fell nearly ten basis points, causing the spread between it and the 3-month Treasury bill yield to turn negative for the first time since 2007.

Kevin Giddis, head of fixed income capital markets at Raymond James, noted that the Fed Funds Futures Probability Index is pointing to increasing odds of a rate cut as the year progresses.

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