Market Overview

Asian, European Stocks Mixed Following Chinese Economic Data; Canada's Wildfire Impacts Oil


Asian stocks were mixed on Thursday after the Chinese government reported its services activity expanded in April, although at a slower pace when compared to March.

The Caixin China services purchasing managers index fell to 51.8 in April from 52.2 in March. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 indicates contraction. China's Shanghai index gained 0.22 percent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 0.37 percent and Taiwan's TSEC index lost 0.21 percent.

India's Mumbai Sensex index gained 0.64 percent as investors found a decline in the index to a three-week low as being excessive, according to Bloomberg.

Australia's ASX index gained 0.17 percent while Japan's equity markets remain closed for a national holiday.

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European stocks were also mixed with more than four hours of trading remaining. The broad Euro Stoxx 50 index was trading higher by just 0.03 percent.

Germany's DAX index was higher by 0.14 percent, while France's CAC index was lower by 0.12 percent and the UK's FTSE index was lower by 0.08 percent.

Oil prices gained early Thursday as a huge wildfire near Canada's oil sands region showed no signs of slowing down and many oil pipelines have been shut off as a precaution. Tensions in Libya are also adding to ongoing supply concerns.

"The difference today compared with a year ago is the market is starting to price in supply disruptions, whereas in a market that is totally oversupplied, you don't care about losing half a million barrels a day (in production)," Reuters quoted Petromatrix strategist Olivier Jakob as saying. "The market is becoming much more sensitive to supply disruptions."

Brent crude futures and WTI futures each gained more than $1 a barrel to trade at $45.81 and $45.23, respectively.

Posted-In: Asian Stocks European stocks Oil ConcernsNews Commodities Global Pre-Market Outlook Markets


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