OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is expected to open lower. The SPI200 futures contract expected to open down 14 points.
Coca-Cola’s carbonated soft drinks are making a comeback, as the company’s third-quarter sales rose in large part thanks to variations on its namesake cola.
A further slide in China’s economic momentum in the third quarter appears to be galvanizing government priorities around growth again, after years of trying to contain rising debt.
Each Market in Focus
Australian shares posted a second straight day of declines to narrow the weekly gain. Tracking losses across much of the region with weaker-than-expected growth figures out of China, the S&P/ASX 200 settled 0.5% lower at 6649.7, with every industry sector in the red.
The market still managed to record its second weekly advance in a row with a rise of 0.7%. The “big four” banks–CBA, Westpac, ANZ and NAB–lost between 0.4% and 0.9%, while Bank of Queensland shed 2.9% after analysts waded in on its weak full-year result from Thursday. Afterpay Touch extended its retreat with a 7.3% drop, taking the week’s fall to 16% after Wednesday’s bearish research report from UBS.
U.S. stocks fell on global growth worries, but major indexes were still poised to close the week with gains after a strong kickoff to corporate earnings season. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 256 points, or 1%, as of 4 p.m. Eastern time, dragged down by Boeing and Johnson & Johnson. The S&P slipped 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite declined 0.8%.
Still, all three indexes were recently within 3% July’s all-time highs, showing the resilience of the U.S. stock market despite concerns about slowing growth at home and abroad.
Friday’s declines came after fresh Chinese growth data sparked concerns about the world’s No. 2 economy and a slew of negative headlines pummelled some of the biggest U.S. companies.
Among Friday’s movers, Johnson & Johnson had slumped 5.8% after the company said it was recalling one lot of baby powder–about 33,000 bottles–after tests found small amounts of chrysotile asbestos.
Boeing tumbled 5.9% after the disclosure of instant messages from 2016 suggesting that the aircraft maker misled regulators over the safety of a key system on its 737 Max.
Technology stocks were broadly lower, with Netflix down 5.4% after several analysts cut their price targets for the streaming-video company. Chipmaker Micron Technology tumbled 3.7%, while PayPal Holdings fell 1.9%. But the S&P was still poised for a 0.8% increase for the week–its second consecutive
week of gains–largely due to upbeat quarterly earnings reports, including from banks like JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup . Of the 73 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings through Friday morning,
more than four-fifths have topped analysts’ expectations, according to Refinitiv. That’s largely because expectations came down so much in recent months.
Gold futures settled lower, failing to get a lift from a round of weak economic data out of China or a softer U.S. dollar as bears looked for the precious metal to continue its retreat from more-than-six-year highs set last month.
Gold for December delivery on Comex fell $4.20, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,494.10 an ounce. That cut the weekly gain for the most-active contract to about 0.4%, according to FactSet data. December silver lost 3.4 cents, or 0.2%, to end at $17.578 an ounce, for a weekly rise of 0.2%.
In other metals trade, January platinum rose 0.3% to $895.90 an ounce, for a weekly loss of 0.5%, while December palladium lost 0.8% to $1,716.90 an ounce, for a rise of just 2.8% for the week. December copper rose 1.5% to $2.636 a pound, building a rise of 0.3% for the week.
Oil futures finished lower, giving up earlier gains to build a loss for the week, as data showing slower Chinese economic growth fed worries about weaker demand for oil and a recent report revealed a fifth consecutive weekly rise in U.S. crude inventories.
However, support tied to progress toward deals on U.S.-China trade and Brexit, as well as a weekly fall in U.S. petroleum-product inventories limited losses for prices.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics released data Friday showing slower-than-expected growth by China’s economy. Gross domestic product expanded at a 6% pace in the third quarter, the slowest in 27 years.
West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery fell by 15 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $53.78 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, prompting the U.S. benchmark to post a 1.7% weekly decline, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The global benchmark, as measured by December Brent crude, lost 49 cents, or 0.8%, at $59.42 a barrel, off 1.8% for the week.
The British pound was nearly steady ahead of Parliament’s knife-edge’s vote on the Brexit deal agreed by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the European Union.
The pound traded hands at $1.2873, versus $1.2890 late Thursday. Analysts at Citi said the vote, scheduled for Saturday, was too close to call.
The Stoxx Europe 600 settled slightly lower at 393.84 points as traders exercised caution ahead of Saturday’s vote by British lawmakers on the Brexit deal agreed between the EU and the U.K.
Renault was a top faller, down 12%, after the French carmaker cut its sales and profit guidance for 2019. The news is weighing on shares of other automakers including Daimler, Fiat Chrysler and Volkswagen.
Shares in Danone fell 8% after the French food group lowered its 2019 sales growth estimate following disappointing third-quarter trading. Getinge shares surged 16% after the Swedish medical technology firm beat third-quarter core profit forecasts. Assa Abloy gains 2.6% after the lockmaker reported higher earnings that met estimates.
Chinese stocks dropped sharply after data showed the Chinese the economy slowed further in the third quarter, adding to concerns about global growth.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.3%, its biggest decline in a month. Fresh data showed that China’s economy grew 6% in the quarter as business activity continued to deteriorate in the world’s No. 2 economy. Each quarterly slowdown in growth has pulled the economic performance to new lows not seen since the current measure of output was
adopted in 1992.
Hong Kong stocks reversed their opening gains after the data was released. The Hang Seng Index fell 0.5% to 26719.58. Large-cap mainland companies on the index broadly declined, while Hong Kong developers also edged down following gains in previous sessions.
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