US stock markets yesterday accelerated decline on weak statistics on orders for durable goods, the volume of which fell unexpectedly in February by 1.4%, which was associated with a reduction in orders for military goods and products of aircraft industry. The worsening situation in Yemen also negatively affected investor’s sentiment. Today, the course of trading will be affected by the news on the labor market in the US (12:30 GMT) and service PMI (13:45 GMT). Our medium-term outlook for the US market remains positive, but the fall is likely to continue in the near future.
Major stock indexes in Europe began to decline amid a sharp deterioration in investor sentiment in the US, as well as in connection with military operations against Saudi Arabia's anti-government forces in Yemen. It is worth noting that the index growth has not continued yesterday despite the positive statistics on the index of business confidence in Germany, which rose to 107.9 in March, against the forecast of 106.8. Today's publication of data on the growth of consumer confidence in Germany to 10.0, vs. expected 9.8, supported the markets, but investor sentiment remains negative. At the same time, retail sales in the UK rose by 0.7% in February, compared with an expected 0.4%. Our medium-term outlook for the markets of the region remains positive, but the correction may continue in the near future.
Markets in the Asia-Pacific region showed strong decline against the background of deterioration in investor sentiment due to the drop in durable goods orders in the United States. In addition, a number of analysts have lowered forecasts for US GDP growth in the first quarter of this year. Negative for Japanese stocks was also the strengthening of the yen against the US dollar. Investors are awaiting tomorrow's publication of important statistics on household expenditures, the consumer price index and retail sales in Japan. We maintain a positive medium-term outlook for markets in the region despite the risks associated with the slowdown in the Chinese economy.