US stock indexes cannot continue to grow and consolidate near historic highs. The course of trading yesterday was influenced by the labor market data in the US, where the number of initial unemployment claims fell to 283 thousand against predicted 293 thousand. The index of business activity in the manufacturing sector of Philadelphia declined to 5.2, against the expected growth to 8.8. The growth in US oil inventories had a negative impact on the dynamics of stock prices of energy companies. Today, we look forward to continuing consolidation of price near current levels. Our medium-term outlook remains positive, but we expect a correction on the markets in the near future.
European stocks also ended the trading session near the previous close. The central theme on the market is the Greek crisis. Germany yesterday refused from the offer of Greece to extend credit program for 6 months. Eurozone current account surplus totaled 17.8 billion euros, against the forecast of 23.3 billion euros. Today was published statistics on Eurozone manufacturing PMI which rose by 0.1 to 51.1, and the service PMI rose to 53.9, which is 0.7 better than expected. At the same time, retail sales in the UK in January fell by 0.3% against the expected 0.1%. We forecast drop in European stock markets in the near future due to the Greek crisis, but keep medium-term positive outlook due to the launch of quantitative easing in the Eurozone.
Markets in the Asia-Pacific region showed a positive trend on expectations of reaching a consensus between Greece and creditors. Chinese markets are closed in observance of the New Year. Manufacturing PMI in Japan fell to 51.5, against expected 52.6. Traders are waiting for the publication of minutes of the previous meeting of the Bank of Japan on Monday. We expect reduced activity of traders in the region in the near future. Our medium-term outlook remains positive, but in the near future we may see a drop of indexes.