26 Oct 2018

NZX ends the day flat after volatile week

7:40 pm on 26 October 2018

The NZX is likely to finish marginally up today after a week of volatility on the world's sharemarkets.

Sharemarket, stockmarket generic

Photo: 123RF

Asian sharemarkets have wobbled in early trade, struggling to shake off the previous day's global markets rout, after weak results from tech giants Alphabet Inc and Amazon.com heightened concerns over world trade and economic growth.

The shaky start for regional markets came despite a bounce on Wall Street overnight, which was helped by bargain-hunting and positive earnings from Microsoft Corp.

Those gains were put into perspective, however, as shares of both Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc fell sharply after the closing bell on disappointing earnings.

The market's high was up 0.9 percent but lost all its gains, once the Asian opened. The ASX 200 was down about half a percent.

Our own top 50 index had a volatile session - rising nearly one percent in early trading, falling more than a quarter of a percent when Asia opened - before settling back to where it started the day at 8,568.

But the NZ dollar was weaker in late trading slipping to 64.8 US cents, 92.1 Australian and 50.7 pence.

That's because of the US dollar.

Investors will also be awaiting third-quarter US GDP data that is due out on Friday for further dollar cues. If the reading is lower than expectations, investors will worry about economic growth momentum and whether that could possibly lead to a change in the US Federal Reserve's monetary tightening path.

The NZX Top 50 index is running at around 0.38 percent up.

Share analysts have spoken of the world's global markets "whipsawing" around.

Financial markets have been volatile in recent sessions on concerns over global growth as investors fretted over Sino-US trade frictions, a mixed bag of US corporate earnings, Federal Reserve rate hikes and Italian budget woes. A slowdown in China has been particularly worrying for policy makers and investors, hitting asset markets from stocks to currencies and commodities.

In the US, the Nasdaq futures turned down 0.9 percent and S&P E-mini futures fell 0.6 percent, underscoring broad worries about US corporate earnings, and the outlook for the economy, which triggered a rout on Wall Street on Wednesday and sent global markets into a tailspin.

In Asia, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat after pushing slightly lower in the opening hour.

The index has been bruised by a heavy sell-off in the past several days, tumbling more than 3 percent this week.

South Korea's Kospi was also down 0.6 percent, and Australia's shares were hanging on to modest gains of 0.2 percent. Japan's Nikkei stock index was the biggest gainer, up 0.5 percent, though that only partially erased Thursday's 3.7 percent slide.

- Reuters

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