Stock markets waver, oil prices sink

(FILES) Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on June 27, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by SPENCER PLATT / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Oil prices tumbled Monday following surprisingly weak China manufacturing data, while global stocks were mixed ahead of key jobs data, earnings and central bank announcements.

China’s closely-watched Purchasing Managers’ Index of manufacturing activity shrank in July as the result of weak demand and the strict zero-Covid measures imposed in parts of the country.

The index, a key gauge of manufacturing activity in the world’s second-biggest economy, came in at 49.0 in July, down from 50.2 June and below the 50-point mark separating growth from contraction, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

While sweeping curbs have eased in major hubs such as Shanghai and Beijing, sporadic lockdowns in other cities and towns have kept businesses and consumers worried with few signs of the policy easing.

“Oil prices were under pressure after weak Chinese manufacturing figures which really show the continuing impact of lockdowns on the country’s economy,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

Oil traders also standing by for another output decision by the OPEC+ group of major crude-producing nations on Wednesday.

Wall Street stocks ended modestly lower after a choppy session as petroleum-linked shares retreated.

London’s FTSE 100 and the Paris CAC 40 were down a bit while the Frankfurt DAX was flat at the close.

In corporate news, Asia-focused lender HSBC provided another boost with a “bullish” outlook, alongside its intention to revert to quarterly shareholder dividends next year.

HSBC shares jumped by more than six percent in the British capital.

On Wall Street, Boeing surged 6.1 percent as it moved closer to final regulatory approval to resume deliveries of its 787 jet.

This week’s calendar includes the US jobs report for July, which will be closely scrutinized for clues as to whether the Federal Reserve can be expected to dial back its aggressive interest rate hikes, as markets hope.

Major corporate earnings reports include those from oil giant BP, US ride-hailing firm Uber, Japanese automaker Toyota and Chinese tech giant Alibaba.

The Bank of England is expected to deliver a bumper 0.5-percentage-point interest rate hike Thursday as it continues to combat rocketing inflation.

“Sharp hikes by the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank in July make it all the more likely that it will pull the trigger on an outsize rate hike,” analyst Neil Wilson told AFP.

Global central banks are ramping up borrowing costs in an attempt to get a handle on runaway consumer price inflation.

– Key figures at around 2040 GMT –
New York – Dow: DOWN 0.1 percent at 32,798.40 (close)

New York – S&P 500: DOWN 0.3 percent at 4,118.63 (close)

New York – Nasdaq: DOWN 0.2 percen at 12,368.98 (close)

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,413.42 (close)

Frankfurt – DAX: FLAT at 13,479.63 (close)

Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.2 percent at 6,436.86 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.1 percent at 3,711.36 (close)

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.7 percent at 27,993.35 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: UP 0.1 percent at 20,165.84 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.2 percent at 3,259.96 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0262 from $1.0220 Friday

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2255 from $1.2171

Euro/pound: DOWN at 83.70 pence from 83.97 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 131.61 yen from 133.27 yen

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 3.8 percent at $100.03 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 4.7 percent at $93.89 per barrel

© Agence France-Presse