London - Global equities retreated, trimming a sixth straight monthly advance, as geopolitical concerns linger and investors assess corporate earnings after the world’s largest economy reported its slowest pace of expansion in three years.
US stocks were mixed as lackluster auto sales weighed on the nation’s gross domestic product. The Nasdaq 100 Stock Index added to its record high as Alphabet Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. reported strong earnings after Thursday’s close.
In Europe, equities pared a third monthly gain as Barclays dropped the most since November and became the latest bank in the region with trading results to lag those of American firms. Oil closed in on the $50 a barrel mark, recouping Thursday losses.
“Overall, a soft report, but the Treasury market has sold off and we’ll argue that the market was simply looking for an ever weaker report,” BMO Capital Markets strategist Ian Lyngen wrote in research note after the GDP figures were released.
The markets are in a state of flux as President Donald Trump fights an uphill legislative battle to turn his words into action and kept concerns over North Korea alive. The administration’s tax-cut plan and mixed signals on its view of Nafta stirred markets this week.
The growth slowdown will cast doubt on the Federal Reserve’s resolve to raise interest rates two more times this year as the prospect of a limited government shutdown looms. In France, voters are gearing up for a presidential election runoff after the first round eased some nerves.
“It’s a busy end to the week with a lot of data out of both Europe and the US,” Jim Reid, a strategist at Deutsche Bank AG in London, wrote in a note. “Ahead of tomorrow’s first 100 days of Trump today we’ll see if a shutdown can be avoided.”
Events that will catch investors’ eye as the week wraps up:
The US Congress is considering a continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown.
Here are the main moves in markets:
The S&P 500 was up 0.01% at 2 388.94 as of 14:44, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.1% at 20 957.45 and the Nasdaq 100 gained 0.4% to 5 594.14 The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.03%, dropping for a second day after reaching the highest level since August 2015.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was down 0.04%, paring earlier losses. The euro gained 0.34% and the pound was up 0.15%. The rouble strengthened as much as 0.6% after a bigger-than-forecast rate cut failed to reduce its carry-trade appeal.
Oil rose 0.86% to $49.39 a barrel, after tumbling 1.3% on Thursday. Crude is down nearly 3% this month. Gold was essentially flat at percent to $1 265.90. The metal is up 1.5% for April, its fourth monthly advance. Nickel led a rally in industrial metals, rising 1.9% to $9 510.00 a metric ton. Zinc gained 1.6% as workers at Peru smelter call strike.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries was up nearly three basis points to 2.32%. German benchmark yields rose four basis points to 0.34%.Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter: Fin24’s top stories