(menafn – ecpulse)
With data starting to weaken in the US while Spain is believed to have entered its second recession in 3 years and Japan’s retail trade softened in Feb. investors limited their risk appetite on worries over global growth.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.8% at 13.43 in Tokyo after Wall Street ended lower after the durable goods rose less-than-expected in Feb. by 2.2%, adding to evidence the economy is weakening.
This confirms Bernanke’s comments earlier this week when he said it’s “too early to claim the US economy had firmly turned the corner” therefore policy makers are not ruling out taking further steps to ease the monetary policy and boost growth.
Meanwhile China is again adding to concerns about global growth prospects, since the disappointing corporate results suggested the slowdown in China’s economy started to hurt profitability more than the expectations which already were lower.
Adding to pessimism on Thursday were believes Spain entered its second recession in 3 years, while UK contracted more than expected in the fourth quarter, giving more signs that the global recovery is not as robust as previously expected.
Energy stocks were also dragged down on Thursday after crude dropped near the 105.00 level after a report showed crude stockpiles rose more than expected last week while France might release strategic oil stocks “a matter of weeks”.
Japan’s data determined more investors to lock on to their profits, after the retail trade slowed in Feb. from the previous month, rising by 2.0% from 4.1% in Jan., yet on the yearly basis the index exceeded the previous and the expected.
Data later today may show US GDP hold at 3.0% and personal consumption at 2.1% yet the weekly jobless claims may rise slightly to 350K; confidence in Europe may improve slightly in Mar. and Germany’s unemployment may hold at 6.8%.