LONDON, United Kingdom, Nov 1 – World stock markets wobbled Tuesday in choppy trade as investors eyed bright Chinese data, mixed company results and uncertainty over the US presidential race, dealers said.
Better-than-expected economic data from China buoyed the mining sector because the Asian powerhouse is a leading consumer of many metals.
“Equity markets are making a positive, yet choppy start to the new month,” said Mike van Dulken, head of research at trading firm Accendo Markets.
“The commodity space remains supported by rising metals prices and positive China data,” he added, noting that weak oil prices and mixed results had rattled the energy sector.
“Sideways markets suggest traders remain jittery given the event risk that lies ahead Federal Reserve, Bank of England, US election and with major equity indices still so close to their highs.”
The US Federal Reserve will unveil its latest monetary decision on Wednesday, followed by the Bank of England on Thursday.
Investors are also eagerly following the latest twists and turns in the US presidential election to be held on November 8, with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump edging ahead of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by one point for the first time since May, an ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll out Tuesday has found.
Trump’s 46-45 percent lead in the four-way race for the White House, while well within the margin of error, possibly reflected the renewed controversy over Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state.
Globally, investor confidence remains fragile after Friday’s bombshell news that the FBI was investigating additional emails connected to Clinton, Wall Street’s preferred candidate.
“With just a week to go until the US election, and a Federal Reserve meeting tomorrow night, the Dow Jones may struggle to do much of anything this Tuesday,” noted Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.
The Dow edged up 0.1 percent at the opening bell on Wall Street.
China economy levelling
Hong Kong led most major Asian markets higher on Tuesday after China’s closely watched purchasing managers’ index hit its highest level in more than two years, Beijing said, indicating that the important manufacturing sector and the world’s number two economy is levelling out.
A separate private index also beat expectations to hit its highest mark since July 2014.
The figures come weeks after official data showed economic growth stabilising and putting the government on track to achieve its annual target, while another reading showed a first increase in factory gate prices for four years.
The news buoyed London’s resources sector, which comprises a significant proportion of the capital’s benchmark FTSE 100 index which was up a slight 0.1 percent in mid-afternoon trading.
“Mining companies including Anglo American and Antofagasta gained on the prospect of higher metal demand from the manufacturing industry of the world’s biggest consumer of commodities,” said CMC Markets analyst Jasper Lawler.
Shares in Anglo American won about 1.9 percent in value, while Antofagasta climbed 2.4 percent.
In the energy sector, British energy giant BP shed 1.7 percent after it revealed that underlying replacement cost profit tumbled 49 percent to $933 million (851 million euros) in the third quarter from a year earlier.
However, rival Royal Dutch Shell added that its profit excluding one-off items and stripping out the changing value of oil inventories advanced 17 percent to $2.79 billion.
That eclipsed forecasts of $1.79 billion and sent Shell’s ‘B’ share price 3.8 percent higher in London.
Key figures around 1330 GMT
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.1 percent at 6,963.57 points
Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.1 percent at 10,650.01
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.3 percent at 4,497.69
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,052.86
New York – Dow: UP 0.1 percent at 18,159.96
New York – S&P 500: UP 0.2 percent at 2,129.55
New York – Nasdaq: UP 0.2 percent at 5,200.14
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.1 percent at 17,442.40 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.9 percent at 23,147.07 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.7 percent at 3,122.20 (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1024 from $1.0981 Monday
Dollar/yen: FLAT at 104.82
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2238 from $1.2242
Euro/pound: UP at 90.09 pence from 89.70 pence
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 37 cents at $47.23 per barrel
Oil – Brent North Sea: UP 56 cents at $49.17