Global stocks were muted Monday after climbing last week, as trade tensions remained a pressure point amid weakening world economic growth.
In Europe, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 was broadly flat after the opening bell. In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was flat after rallying in earlier trading, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.3%.
U.S. futures pointed to flat openings for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500.
Central bank signals and International Monetary Fund remarks underscored the cautious mood after upbeat U.S. bank earnings last week buoyed markets, with the S&P 500 notching its third consecutive week of gains.
In its annual report on global fiscal policies, the IMF singled out Germany, Korea and Australia as countries that could do more to boost the slowing global economy, while central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank and the European Central Bank, signaled continued dovishness.
Trade tensions between the U.S. and China remained, though U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchinsaid the countries were “getting close to the final round of concluding issues.” Two phone calls are scheduled for the week, and in-person meetings will likely be needed to seal any deal.
Earnings will remain in focus this week, with big names like
all set to report numbers. But even strong earnings may do little to lift investor sentiment amid a slowing global economy.
“Markets currently only want to know whether a rebound of the global economy is in the cards or not,” said Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING in Germany.
Market participants will be paying close attention to Chinese data, including gross domestic product, later this week.
Later on Monday, U.S. and Japanese delegations will meet in Washington to discuss trade arrangements. The move comes nearly seven months after both countries agreed to start bilateral trade talks.
In individual equities,
gained 2.3% after solid first-quarter numbers.
The WSJ dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of 16 other peers, was 0.1% lower, while 10-year U.S. Treasury yields on Monday ticked up to 2.561% from 2.560% on Friday afternoon. Yields move inversely to prices.
In commodities, Brent crude, the global benchmark, slid 0.2% to $71.34 a barrel. Gold lost 0.4% to $1,289.80 an ounce.
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