Global Equities Slightly Higher
Global stock markets are recovering slightly, after they showed significant losses late last week. European markets rose as investors ignored fears of political uncertainty in Italy. But still, MIB FTSE declined by more than 1% at the beginning of trading, as investors fear that prolonged coalition negotiations and the possibility of the majority of the anti-establishment may damage the economy. Meanwhile, on Wall Street, US stock futures pointed to a flat open, with the three benchmark indices managing to recoup a major chunk of their overnight losses.
Italy’s national elections produced no outright winner, indicating that the country is set for a hung parliament as far-right, anti-establishment and euroskeptic parties staged a strong showing. The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement came out as a clear winner, looking set to become the largest single party by a wide margin, underscoring the continued power of populist parties in European politics.
The Eurozone's economic boom paused last month. IHS Markit's Final Composite Purchasing Managers' Index, seen as a good overall indicator of growth for the euro zone, fell to 57.1 in February from January's 58.8. Growth in Germany's private sector also slowed in February. Markit's final composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which tracks the activity in manufacturing and services that together account for more than two-thirds of the economy, eased to 57.6 in February from 59.0 in January, reaching a three-month low.
The pound advanced against its major counterparts today, as British service sector activity expanded at the fastest pace in four months in February. Survey data from IHS Markit showed that UK services PMI beat expectations in February, driven by the sharpest rise in new work since May 2017. The IHS Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply Purchasing Managers' Index, rose to 54.5 in February from 53.0 in January.
Eurozone retail sales increased by more than expected year-on-year in January. Eurostat data showed, that retail sales in the euro area fell by 0.1% month-on-month, and increased by 2.3% year-on-year . Economists had expected a 0.3% monthly rise and a 2.1% annual gain.