TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -Financial spreadbetters expect London's FTSE .FTSE Frankfurt's DAX .DAX and Paris's CAC .FCHI to dip marginally when they open, with investors awaiting news from the European Central Bank's first policy review of the year.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS added 0.3 percent, while Japan's Nikkei average .N225 eased 0.1 percent.
“There is no new news to buy, and there are no fresh triggers to sell. Investors are staying on the sidelines,” said Yasuo Sakuma, chief investment officer at Libra Investments.
China's benchmark Shanghai Composite .SSEC and the blue-chip CSI 300 .CSI300 climbed 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, taking positive cues from financial firms' profits and the approval for a new technology board in Shanghai. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index .HSI rose 0.3 percent.
On Wednesday, Wall Street ended slightly higher after a spate of upbeat earnings reports, including International Business Machines (IBM.N), but lingering concerns about trade tensions and the longest U.S. government shutdown ever limited the advance.
White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said in a CNN interview the U.S. economy could see zero growth in the first three months if the partial government shutdown lasts for the whole quarter.
Japan’s manufacturing growth stalled in January as export orders fell at the fastest pace in 2-1/2 years, a preliminary business survey showed Thursday, offering the latest sign of slower growth hitting a major developed economy.
Analysts at Capital Economics warned that China’s economic slowdown looks set to be of a similar scale to that in 2015-16, though there are some significant differences so far, most notably less downward pressure on the yuan and no signs of major capital outflows.
“Against a backdrop of various concerns about other economies, weakness in China adds to reasons to expect a marked global slowdown,” they wrote in a note.
“Since China makes up 19 percent of the world economy, the slowdown this year compared to last will knock 0.2 percentage points off global growth.”
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the United States was doing well in trade talks with China, saying that China “very much wants to make a deal.”
But sources familiar with the talks say the two sides are still far apart on key, structural elements critical for a deal.
“Above all, (investors) are wary there’s a possibility that the economic slowdown will go on amid the uncertainty over the U.S.-China trade tension,” said Harumi Taguchi, principal economist at IHS Markit.
“In such circumstances, the likelihood is becoming a little bigger that a situation remains where it’s hard to buy stocks and the yen is likely to strengthen.”