American equity-index futures were mixed on Thursday ahead of key data on the world’s biggest economy. Treasury yields rose and the dollar weakened.
Contracts on the Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 dropped, while those on Dow Jones Industrial Average fluctuated. Data on jobs, growth and personal consumption later Thursday will help investors piece together a picture of the economy amid concerns about inflation pressures and prospects for monetary stimulus.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index hovered around a record as gains in miners offset losses in health-care and food-and-beverage stocks. Planemaker Airbus SE climbed after telling suppliers it plans to raise output, while Bayer AG dropped after a US judge rejected its plan to resolve claims related to its Roundup weedkiller.
The British pound strengthened, gilts declined and the FTSE 100 index underperformed after Bank of England policy maker Gertjan Vlieghe said an early UK rate increase is possible if the country makes a smooth transition from its wage-support scheme.
Global equities have pushed higher in May amid volatile trading as investors swung from worries that higher inflation poses a threat to loose monetary policy to optimism about the economic recovery. Federal Reserve officials have hinted that they may start discussions on reducing bond purchases in upcoming meetings if the economy powers ahead, a move that could push yields higher and damp demand for riskier assets.
“It will be the inflation prints that will be dominating markets,” Janet Mui, investment director at Brewin Dolphin, said on Bloomberg Television. “This year we are at a junction when market participants are thinking about a potential withdrawal of stimulus.”
In Asia, Chinese stocks and currency edged higher after Washington and Beijing held the first trade talks since Joe Biden became president. While the talks were described as “candid,” tensions remain — the White House’s top official for Asia said Wednesday the US is entering a period of intense competition with China.
Elsewhere, oil weakened on concern there will be a glut of Iranian supply if sanctions on the Persian Gulf producer are lifted. Bitcoin pushed toward $40 000, while gold steadied near the highest level in more than four months.
Here are some events this week:
- US initial jobless claims, GDP, durable goods, pending home sales and personal consumption on Thursday.
- Personal income and spending, PCE deflator and University of Michigan Sentiment index on Friday.
These are some of the main moves in markets:
- Futures on the S&P 500 fell 0.2% as of 7:33 a.m. New York time.
- Futures on the Nasdaq 100 fell 0.4%.
- Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were little changed.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.2%.
- The MSCI World index was little changed.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1%.
- The euro was little changed at $1.2202.
- The British pound rose 0.4% to $1.4175.
- The Japanese yen was little changed at 109.14 per dollar.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced two basis points to 1.59%.
- Germany’s 10-year yield advanced two basis points to -0.19%.
- Britain’s 10-year yield advanced four basis points to 0.79%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1% to $66 a barrel.
- Gold futures fell 0.3% to $1 899 an ounce.