European stocks were mixed Thursday amid a busy calendar of corporate earnings while Wall Street futures drifted into the red as the U.S. dollar extended declines following President Donald Trump's two-day visit to China and lingering questions over the fate of domestic tax reform.
The region-wide Stoxx Europe 600 index was marked 0.73% lower by mid-day trading, led by a 0.93% slip for Germany's DAX performance index. Britain's FTSE 100 benefited from a modestly weaker pound, which fell 0.56% to 1.3106 against the dollar, and notched a small 2 point point advance, although gains were limited by benchmark heavyweights BP plc (BP) and GlaxoSmithkline (GSK) trading without the right to their regular dividend.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is looking at a 83 point slip at the bell, according to U.S. equity futures prices, with a slight larger 0.38% decline anticipated for the broader S&P 500 after last night's record closes for major American benchmarks.
An early mover of note were shares of Burberry plc (BURBY) , which fell the most in six months, after it missed analysts' forecasts for its first half earnings and disappointed investors with details of its strategy shift.
Burberry shares were on track for their biggest one day fall since April, down 10%, changing hands at 1,782 pence, as it warned that there will be a "period of transition." The company said it will focus on luxury leather goods and accessories to attract new customers, and build on the strength of its apparel.
Overnight in Asia, the U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a baskets of six global currencies, fell 0.1% to 94.77, the second consecutive session of declines, as President Trump wrapped up his two-day visit to Beijing with a criticism of U.S.-China trade relations, which he described as "unsustainable."
"As we all know America has a huge annual trade deficit with China, a number beyond anything that anyone would understand," the President said "Both the United States and China will have a more prosperous future if we can achieve a more level playing field."
"After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens. I give China great credit, but in actuality I do blame past administrations for allowing this out-of-control trade deficit to take place," he added.
The characterisation failed to dent regional stocks, with the broader measure of share prices, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index, rising 0.08% towards the close of trading. Japan's Nikkei 225 topped the 23,000 mark for the fist time since 1992, rising 2% amid its recent bull market and taking the broader TOPIX index of domestically-focused stocks to a similar 26-year high before both benchmarks gave back gains and closed modestly in the red.
Global oil prices rose in parallel to the dollar's pullback, even after yesterday's data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed domestic production rose to a record 9.26 million barrels per day last week and crude stockpiles expanded by a larger-than-expected 2.2 million barrels.
Brent crude futures for January deliver, the benchmark for global prices, were little-changed at $63.50 per barrel while West Texas Intermediate crude futures for the same month, a better indicator of U.S. prices, were marked around 30 cents higher at $57.10 per barrel.
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