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Thứ Ba, 24 tháng 3, 2015

Manufacturing readings sap Asia equities mood - Financial Times

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Tuesday 09.40 GMT. European equities markets have turned higher in morning trade, taking heart from bullish economic data in Germany, the region’s powerhouse economy.


The influential and forward-looking March purchasing managers’ index (PMI) published by Markit pointed toward further expansion, reading over 50 at 52.4, beating expectations of 51.5. The PMI reading for the services sector also beat forecasts, raising hopes that the eurozone’s economic rebound could be taking firmer hold.


After the data, the Xetra Dax 30 moved up from losses made in opening trade to stand 0.3 per cent higher. It helped take the FTSE Eurofirst 300 up over the flatline, with the international index up 0.1 per cent, turning round from a loss of 0.3 per cent. London’s FTSE 100 also bounced higher, with a 0.2 per cent increase replacing a 0.3 per cent slip.


Germany’s 10-year sovereign borrowing costs are down 1 basis point to 0.21 per cent.


Data for the wider currency area also looked positive, also pointing to expansion and beating forecasts, reading 51.9 for manufacturing and 54.3 for services.


The euro was already looking brighter as the wider trend for the dollar’s long march higher to subside continued before the German numbers were published, although the shared currency is trading around levels last reached in early March which then represented 12-year lows. It is up 0.2 per cent at €1.0965, while the dollar index is flat at 96.958.


Sterling is down 0.3 per cent against the euro at €1.3616 after the improved continental data.


Wider sentiment remains cautious as worries linger about the threat posed by the stand-off between Greece and its creditors.


With talks between Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, due to enter a second day, the mood on European markets is cautious as investors seek signs of progress.


“”Both of the leaders have been at loggerheads over just how a new deal for Greece would work,” said James Hughes, chief market analyst at eToro. “They stopped short of announcing any real progress, mainly because there may not be any.


“Yet again [politicians from within the] eurozone met for talks, everybody sat down but got up at the end of the day with no decisions made or any closer to a deal to stop a Greek default.”


There were also reasons to be careful within data from the wider eurozone. PMI data from France was weak, continuing to point toward contraction.


Brent crude has been unable to hold gains of over 1 per cent made during Asian trade, and is down 0.8 per cent to at $55.44 a barrel. Gold is down 0.1 per cent at $1,188 an ounce.


Asian equities weakened across the board as manufacturing readings from the region underwhelmed and Wall Street offered mixed signals.


Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.5 per cent, while Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.2 per cent after hitting a 15-year high on Monday. The Shanghai Composite edged down 0.1 per cent from a seven-year high.


There were also subdued purchasing managers’ indices in China and Japan, which dropped to multimonth lows for March.


Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was again climbing toward the 6,000 mark, last seen in January 2008. The index rose 0.1 per cent to 5,963, led by the materials and energy sectors. Gold miners advanced 2.8 per cent after the precious metal’s price rose 0.6 per cent overnight to $1,189.82 an ounce.


Some Asian currencies picked up against the bruised dollar. The Malaysian ringgit strengthened 0.7 per cent, continuing to rebound from a six-year low hit last week. South Korea’s won was up 0.6 per cent, a second strong gain after nearing a two-year trough last week.


Wall Street’s S&P 500 fell 0.2 per cent overnight, offering little by way of direction to its global peers.



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