What you need to know before the US open
US stock index futures suggest markets will open lower, as investors look again towards ongoing emerging market turmoil.
The continuing and severe violence in Ukraine at the moment has seen the country’s hryvnia plummet to five-year lows, and state debt insurance rising to 2009 highs.
Weaker growth from China – the Markit/HSBC purchasing managers’ index fell to seven-month lows in February – has also been fuelling trader fears today.
Data-wise, US inflation was modest in January, as expected, up 0.1 per cent from December. That meant annually, the rate of inflation was 1.6 per cent from a year earlier.
Meanwhile, initial jobless claims have come in pretty much as expected, with 336,000 people signing up to receive unemployment benefit last week. That’s a fall from 339,000. Analysts had expected the number to be 335,000.
Facebook shares have fallen after the social media giant announced it’s buying Whatsapp for $19bn.
Tesla shares have been soaring in premarket trading after the electric car firm reported bumper results.
And Walmart’s announced that it expects economic factors to “continue to weigh” on its outlook, with earnings per share to be between $1.10 and $1.20 per share this quarter (to 2 May). Shares fell 1.5 per cent in premarket trading.
In the UK
January mortgage approvals were up 33 per cent on a year earlier, figures showed this morning, but are still far below pre-crisis levels.
Disappointing service sector numbers from France have seen shares fall 0.6 per cent.
Numbers for the Eurozone as a whole pointed to overall improvement, but showed that recovery is still fragile.
Data in focus
- 3.00pm: Eurozone Feb consumer confidence
- 3.00pm: US Feb Philly Fed survey + Jan leading indicators