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Global Market Report - October 26 2017

Asian markets shrugged off a fall on Wall Stret overnight, with India hitting a new record high, while European investors await the ECB's latest announcements

James Gard 26 October, 2017 | 11:09AM

Asia

Japan’s equity markets got back to winning ways on Thursday, although gains on the Nikkei and Topix indices were modest amid a mixed set of earnings from key companies.

Japan’s inflation numbers for September are due just after the market open on Friday morning – the forecast is for a 0.7% rise in the Consumer Price Index year on year in the month.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s Kospi indices were the exception in Asian markets – China, Australia and Japan markets all closed higher. India’s BSE Sensex pushed to a new record high, having broken above 33,000 points for the first time on Wednesday.

Europe

In the UK, bank earnings season continued with a third-quarter update from Barclays (BARC). Profits rose 31% in the period to £1.1 billion. But the company’s shares fell 6% as investors focused on a fall in profits in its pivotal investment arm, Barclays International. The bank’s chief executive, Jes Staley, said the quarter had been a difficult one for the bank’s investment arm.

A retreat in the pound against the dollar – despite yesterday’s GDP numbers backing an interest rate rise next week – helped keep the FTSE 100 in positive territory. In midmorning trading the index was 28 points higher at 7,474.

In economics, the biggest event of the week is today’s European Central Bank meeting. Interest rates are expected to remain on hold but currency traders are focused on whether the ECB will start winding down asset purchases from €60 billion to €40 billion a month.

European indices were generally higher ahead of the ECB announcement, defying the slowdown seen on Wall Street overnight. German consumer confidence, looking ahead to November, was slightly lower than analyst forecasts. Shares in Germany’s Bayer (BAYN) closed down over 3% despite earnings beating forecasts.

North America

Thursday brings a glut of US earnings and today’s focus is on high-profile tech firms Twitter (TWTR), Amazon (AMZN) and Google parent company Alphabet (GOOGL) – the last two report after market close. Analysts are focused on the performance of Amazon’s new purchase, Whole Foods, as a barometer of how the internet giant is progressing in its move into fresh food. Tech enthusiasts will be waiting for more details on the Google Clips camera, which is driven by artificial intelligence and is priced at the lower end of the camera market.

In economics, weekly jobless claims will be in focus, as will pending home sales for September. 

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Securities Mentioned in Article
Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar
Rating
Alphabet Inc C1,040.61 USD0.01
Amazon.com Inc1,164.13 USD-0.08
Barclays PLC203.00 GBX-0.39
Bayer AG105.80 EUR-0.42-
Twitter Inc21.66 USD0.05
About Author

James Gard  is subeditor for Morningstar.co.uk