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Global Equities Kick Off June In The Negative

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Global Equities Kick Off June In The Negative

Asian stocks were mostly lower on Wednesday, partially in reaction to poor data out of China.

China's government reported the country's official May manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) was unchanged at 50.1 from a month ago. A reading above 50 is considered to be a sign of economic expansion. The Caixin manufacturing PMI index fell to 49.2 in May from 49.4 in April and also marked the lowest reading since February.

"The PMI readings for May were underwhelming," CNBC quoted Julian Evans-Pritchard, a China economist at Capital Economics as saying in a note. "They suggest that activity held up reasonably well last month, but they also offer few signs of improvement."

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China's Shanghai Composite index lost 0.11 percent.

In other Asian news, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to announce a proposed sales tax hike will take place in 2019 as opposed to 2017. However, initial reaction to the announcement wasn't necessarily positive.

"If Japan's government has decided to delay the consumption tax increase scheduled for April 2017 as reports indicate, it would undermine the credibility of the political commitment to fiscal consolidation," CNBC quoted Fitch Ratings as saying in a note Wednesday afternoon.

Japan's Nikkei index fell 1.62 percent.

Australia's ASX index lost 0.97 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 0.26 percent while Taiwan's TSEC gained 0.72 percent.

European stocks were also mostly lower on Wednesday ahead of the European Central Bank's Thursday meeting in which the central bank may change its inflation forecast and offer further commentary on its planned monetary policy strategy.

The UK's FTSE index was trading lower by 0.93 percent with more than 4 hours of trading remaining. Germany's DAX was lower by 0.88 percent while France's CAC index was lower by 0.77 percent.

The price of oil also traded lower on Wednesday as the upcoming OPEC meeting will likely focus on how the countries can defend their market share rather than increasing the price of the commodity through production cuts.

"The OPEC meeting in Vienna on Thursday is unlikely to see a change in the policy of maintaining market share," Reuters quoted Oxford Economics lead economist Patrick Dennis as saying. "Saudi Arabia can claim its policy has been successful with oil prices recovering at the same time as non-OPEC oil production has fallen back, leading to a more rapid global market rebalancing than expected."

Brent crude futures were trading lower by $0.84 a barrel at $49.05, while US WTI Crude futures were lower by $0.75 a barrel at $48.36.

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

 

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