US stocks yesterday showed a decline after the release of weak statistics on Chicago’s manufacturing PMI which fell to 47.6 in February from 55.6 in January. Rising oil prices supported shares of energy sector. Today, the focus will be on data on US manufacturing PMI and construction spending in the country (15:00 GMT). Investors are waiting for the publication of important statistics on the labor market in January, that will affect investors' expectations regarding the Fed raising interest rates this year. Growth can continue in the near future, but in the coming months we can see a drop in prices.
Major European indexes are now showing a positive trend. Today has been published statistics on the Eurozone manufacturing PMI which rose by 0.2 to 51.0. The comparable figure in the UK fell to 50.8, which is 1.5 below the forecast. Today is also worth paying attention to data on unemployment in the Eurozone (10:00 GMT). Speculation about the future ECB's decision on the monetary policy and incentives can lead to an increase on the European stock markets in the near future. We recall that the ECB's decision on this issue will be published on 10 March. Our medium-term outlook for European markets remains positive.
Major stock indexes in Asia and the Pacific rose today. The Chinese market was supported by news about lowering reserve requirements for banks in the country by 0.5% to 17.0%. At the same time, the weak statistics on the country's manufacturing PMI, which fell to 49.0, vs. expected 49.4, increased the likelihood of further stimulus measures by the Chinese authorities. The Japanese market was supported by news on reducing the unemployment rate by 0.1% to 3.2%. RBA decided to keep interest rates at 2.0%, but the positive statistics on the manufacturing PMI which rose by 2.0 to 53.5 in February, along with the increase in commodity prices supported the bulls in Australia. Our medium-term outlook remains positive, but growth is possible after stabilization of the situation on the Chinese market, where increased volatility is likely to continue in the near future.