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European shares dip as Chinese trade data disappoints, lira plunges to record low By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A passerby walks past an electric monitor displaying various countries’ stock price index outside a bank in Tokyo, Japan, March 22, 2023. REUTERS/Issei Kato

By Samuel Indyk and Xie Yu

LONDON (Reuters) – European stock markets dipped on Wednesday and the U.S. dollar nudged higher as weak Chinese trade data had investors fretting about softening global demand, with attention turning towards next week’s pivotal inflation data and Federal Reserve meeting.

Meanwhile, plunged to a record low against the greenback as authorities appeared to loosen stabilising measures after the government signalled a pivot to more orthodox policies.

The pan-European benchmark was last down 0.2%. , 40 and 100 were lower by 0.1%-0.4%.

Spanish stocks outperformed after shares in the world’s biggest fast fashion company Inditex (BME:) jumped 5.8% following first quarter results.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.5%, led by gains in Hong Kong and Taiwan, while 225 fell 1.8%, its sharpest fall in 12 weeks to snap a four-day winning streak.

Chinese exports shrank much faster than expected in May and imports fell, albeit at a slower pace, as manufacturers struggled to find demand abroad and domestic consumption remained sluggish.

“The Chinese trade data is the latest indicator that tells you there’s nothing good going on in global demand,” said Ben Laidler, global markets strategist at eToro.

“There’s a huge gulf in the global economy between services and manufacturing. This is a warning sign that global growth will slow from here. The question is how much,” Laidler added.

Wall Street futures were slightly lower after the gained 0.2% on Tuesday, gaining support from strengthening bets that the Federal Reserve will hold interest rates steady at its policy meeting next week.

The CBOE’s volatility gauge closed below 14 on Tuesday, its lowest such close since February 2020.

“The drivers behind the moves higher in equities have been there,” eToro’s Laidler said, noting the debt ceiling deal and evidence deposits have been returning to the U.S. banking system.

“That’s given markets a little bit of room to run ahead of a U.S. inflation and the Fed meeting next week,” he added.

The two-year Treasury yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, fell slightly to about 4.5124% in London. The yield on 10-year notes slipped to around 3.687%.

The U.S. dollar gained 0.1% against a basket of currencies, while the Turkish lira weakened over 7% to a record low of 23.16 per dollar, its biggest one-day sell-off since the 2021 crash.

“It looks like the central bank’s efforts to fight a stronger dollar is either fading – after Erdogan’s victory in the latest elections – or keeping the lira steady is becoming more difficult and increasingly expensive,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank.

Oil extended losses on Wednesday as concern over global economic headwinds deepened, erasing gains booked after top crude exporter Saudi Arabia’s surprise weekend pledge to deepen output cuts.

futures were down 50 cents, or 0.6%, at $75.78 a barrel. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 51 cents, or 0.7%, to $71.27 a barrel.

Gold was slightly lower, trading at $1,958 per ounce.

Leading cryptocurrency bitcoin was trading at about $26,800, consolidating after a sharp rebound on Tuesday from as low as $25,350.

The token has been a paradoxical beneficiary of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) crackdown on cryptocurrency exchanges, and the classification of tokens including , and Polygon as securities.

This story originally appeared on Investing

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