US futures hold ground, but European shares struggle for direction

Carmakers and technology companies are the biggest losers in Europe

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock

 

US stock futures held their ground amid equity declines across Europe and Asia as investors continued to grapple with America’s strategy toward Chinese trade and investment.

Emerging-market assets had another miserable day, while Treasuries were steady and the dollar fell.

The euro declined less than 0.05 per cent to $1.1552, the weakest in a month, while the British pound sank 0.3 per cent to $1.3079, the weakest in about eight months.

Contracts on the S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow Jones were all little changed in the wake of Wednesday’s slump.

Tech losers

Technology companies and carmakers were the biggest losers as the Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped. Asia’s main equity benchmark fell a fourth day, helping drag a gauge of developing-market stocks toward the lowest level in almost a year.

West Texas Intermediate crude edged lower and China’s yuan headed for another drop.

The British pound weakened, and Italian bonds slipped after a disappointing auction.

Confusing signals on global trade keep coming from the White House, which yesterday appeared to step back from an all-out confrontation with the world’s second biggest economy, only for adviser Larry Kudlow to later say that President Donald Trump’s wasn’t softening his stance.

In China, which Mr Trump previously branded a currency manipulator, the yuan’s fastest fall since 2015 is threatening to heighten tensions. – Bloomberg