(menafn – ecpulse)
Amid thinner-than-usual volumes, with markets in Japan being closed for holiday, Asian stocks dropped, where the MSCI Asia Pacific Excluding Japan Index fell 0.4% at 13:03 in Hong Kong, on disappointing data that fueled doubts over recovery.
Sentiment turned negative after manufacturing in the eurozone slipped deeper into contraction, unemployment unexpectedly rose in Germany, while the US added fewer than expected jobs in April, darkening the outlook for Friday’s key non-farm payrolls report.
Furthermore, the jobless rate rose in New Zealand during this year’s first quarter to the highest level since 2010 at 6.7% from 6.4% previous, raising more fears over global growth, while Australia’s performance of services dropped to 39.6 from 47.0, and China’s services PMI fell to 56.1 in April from 58.0.
Adding to the downside pressures on markets is the caution that is seen rising ahead of ECB’s rate decision later in the day, followed by Draghi’s press conference, while Spain will sell up to 3 billion euros of 3- and 5-year bonds, being its first auction since S&P downgraded it last week.
Meanwhile, Francois Hollande, winner of France’s first round elections, was seen better during a televised debate on Wednesday, increasing his chances to win the second round scheduled for Sunday, May 6.
Markets will also be closely watching the US’s weekly jobless claims, looking for other clues about the state of the job market ahead of Friday’s employment report, and the ISM non-manufacturing index which will offer an insight over hiring in the services sector.
AIG, Kraft, Beam and Cigna are among the companies that will report later in the day their first quarter earnings, after France’s Societe Generale and Germany’s BMW reported earlier today better-than-expected profits.
In Australia the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.16% to 4428.96 after the performance of services dropped sharply, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 index fell 1.06% points to 3576.70 as worries over growth after the unemployment rate rose to the highest since 2010.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.28% to 21248.51 as the doubts over recovery worsened the outlook for exports and profits; while China’s CSI 300 rose 0.30% to 2691.52 on believes the central bank may ease its monetary policy to protect the economy from a hard landing.
South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.20% to 1995.11 after the US reported a disappointing jobs report on Wednesday. India’s BSE Sensex 30 Index fell 0.56% to 17205.09. Singapore's FTSE Straits Times Index rose 0.16% to 3011.01. Thailand’s Stock Exchange of Thai rose 0.26% to 1242.25.
The Taiwan Taiex Index fell 0.23% to 7659.53. In Philippine the PSEi index rose 1.37% to 5300.41. Jakarta Composite Index rose 0.03% to 4220.63. FTSE Bursa Malaysia rose 0.01% to 1582.48.