Friday, 16 March 2018

Markets mixed as positive economic trends seen raising interest rate and financial risks

Markets were mixed on Thursday.

The S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent but the STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.5 percent and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.1 percent.

A report on Thursday showed that initial US jobless claims declined by 4,000 to 226,000 in the seven days ended 10 March, near a 50-year low, but this and other recent positive economic data failed to excite some analysts.

“We continue to see positive trends in economic fundamentals but valuations that suggest a lot of good news has already been priced in,” wrote Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird, in a note to investors.

“Economic releases, especially leading indicators, still point to an expanding economy, not only in the U.S., but also in Europe and China. But we are closer to the end of the cycle,” said Maris Ogg, president at Tower Bridge Advisors.

Indeed, there are concerns that the world economy is turning too hot.

“When lots of countries are growing strongly, the global economy is at its most vulnerable, thanks to heightened interest rate and financial risks,” said Stephen King, senior economic adviser at HSBC.

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