Global markets were mixed today as China’s better-than-expected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) steered a rally in Asian indices, but a major terror attack in Nice, France pulled European stocks down. Travel and leisure related companies became laggards of the day in Europe.
U.S. Futures record losses
In early hours, U.S. stocks futures reported losses. S&P 500 INDEX (INDEXCBOE:SPX) Futures lost 0.16% to 2,153.75 while NASDAQ (INDEXNASDAQ:NDX) Futures slipped 0.13% to 4,584.12.
Recent reports from China reflected growth in all corners of the economy, including retail sales and industrial output. The latest report helped ease concerns that the world’s second largest second economy is far from recovery. Although analysts remained wary of certain economic components in China, the data suggested stability in the region. Improved growth in China along with political firmness in the UK has positively influenced risk appetite.
Yen down to three-week lows
These developments started a sell-off in Japanese Yen, which is set to record its biggest weekly decline in 17 years. The currency already breached a three-week low against the U.S. Dollar (CURRENCY:USD) today. It is to be noted that yen is considered a safe-haven asset and is thus roughly inversely related to stock markets. Like yen, the SPDR Gold Trust (ETF) (NYSEARCA:GLD) too slipped in the red and is set to record its first weekly loss since May. Inflation and consumer data in the U.S. will be decisive in setting tone for bullion later in the day.
Besides this, the British pound also recorded robust gains, responding to the Bank of England’s decision to stay put on interest rates. BoE’s stance came as a surprise to markets, which were anticipating a rate cut following Britain’s decision to leave the EU.
In other asset classes, oil was driven by bearish moves as traders chose to book profits. Global supply worries also deteriorated the outlook towards the commodity.