02.02.2016 - Low oil prices put pressure on stock markets

Major US stock indexes finished yesterday's trading session around the previous close levels, which was associated with the fall in oil prices and contradictory macroeconomic statistics, which could neutralize the positive from the recent decline in interest rates in Japan. Thus, the US manufacturing PMI was 48.2, compared with an expected 48.6. Personal spending in December have not changed due to low utility costs and weak car sales. It is worth noting the growth of the construction spending in December by 0.1% against a decline of 0.6% in the previous month. The main event of this week will be publication of a report on the US labor market in January, before the release of which investors are likely not to rush to build up positions. We expect a decrease on the stock markets of America in the coming months.

European stock markets today show a decline due to lower oil prices and a drop in US indices. Today was published statistics according to which the unemployment rate in the euro area fell to 10.4% in December, compared to 10.5% previously. Furthermore, the construction PMI in the UK unexpectedly dropped to 55.0 against 57.6 earlier. It should be noted that a representative of the ECB Benoit Kere said about the possible revision of the parameters of the monetary policy of the ECB, which will support the bulls and lead to speculation in the near future. Our medium-term outlook for European markets is optimistic, but the instability of the stock markets in Asia and the US, as well as the fall in oil prices will have a negative impact on investor sentiment.

Major stock indexes in the Asia-Pacific region showed different directions. So, the Chinese market was supported by the news on injections of 100 billion yuan via reverse repo operations. This step will reduce investors' concerns before the weekly holidays in connection with the celebration of the New Year according to the lunar calendar, which begins on February 8. On the other hand, the strengthening of the yen against the backdrop of falling oil prices, together with the deterioration of sentiment in the US stock market were negatively displayed on the Japanese market. Volatility on the markets of the region will continue in the near future, and Japanese assets have greater potential for growth due to the expected weakening of the yen.

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