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Impending rate hike and weak Chinese inflation weigh on markets

US stocks fell on Monday on expectations of impending rate hike and concerns over weak Chinese trade data. Live dollar index data indicate ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six currencies, ended flat at Friday’s 98.9900 level. The S&P 500 fell 1% to 2,078.60 with nine of the ten main sectors finishing in the red zone. This was the sharpest decline of US stocks in six weeks. The energy sector led the decliners, falling 1.45% after a fall in oil prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite also fell 1%. Stronger than expected employment report, which showed 271,000 new jobs were created in October, increased the likelihood of interest rate hike in December, raising the prospect of higher borrowing costs for companies. With 88% of S&P 500 companies having posted their third-quarter results, earnings of US companies turned out to have fallen less than initially estimated, recording a 0.9% reduction compared to the year before against 4.2% decline predicted at the start of October. Retail and consumer product companies will be reporting corporate results this week as earnings season ends. S&P 500 remains up 0.99% for the year while the Dow is down 0.52%. Trade data released over the weekend showed China’s trade surplus hit record high in October as both exports and imports fell, raising fears about slowing growth in China. US markets will be closed tomorrow for the Veterans Day holiday. Today at 12:00 CET National Federation of Independent Business October small business index will be released in US. The tentative outlook is positive for the dollar. At 14:30 CET Import Price Index for October will be released. The tentative outlook is negative. At 16:00 CET September Wholesale Inventories will be published. The tentative outlook is neutral.

European stocks retreated on Monday dragged lower by falling Portuguese shares. The euro edged 0.2% higher against the dollar after falling to six-month low on Friday. The Stoxx Europe 600 finished down 1.1%, the second loss in three sessions. Portugal stock market index PSI 20 closed down 4.1% as antiausterity parties appeared on track to form nation’s next government. Portuguese banking sector led the stock sell-off with shares of Banif sinking 10.7% and Banco Comercial Portugues slumping 9.5%. Germany’s DAX fell 1.6% weighed by 1.2% fall in Volkswagen after Fitch downgraded the auto maker’s credit rating by two notches to BBB+. The shares of German auto parts maker Continental dropped 5.3% after missing earnings expectations, although it raised its full-year outlook. No important economic data are expected in euro-zone today.

Nikkei gained 0.2% today in a choppy session as yen weakened against the dollar and morning losses induced by concern over the release of weak Chinese inflation data were erased. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Chinese consumer price index rose 1.3% year-on-year in October, compared with a 1.6% increase in September. Tomorrow at 02:30 CET Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda speaks in Utsunomiya. At 7:00 CET October Machine Tool Orders will be released.

Oil futures prices are edging higher today after December Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange fell 0.5% to $47.19 a barrel on Monday. Traders were concerned about slowing energy demand from the world’s second-largest oil consumer as China’s crude imports in October dropped 5.7% from a month earlier, but rose 9.4% from a year earlier.

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