World stocks steady;
focus on Jackson Hole keeps market cautious
Send a link to a friend
[August 24, 2017]
By Danilo Masoni
MILAN (Reuters) - World stocks steadied on
Thursday after two turbulent weeks as geopolitical worries eased in Asia
and caution prevailed on the day the annual Jackson Hole gathering of
central bankers gets underway.
The MSCI World index, which fell to a five-week low on Monday, was down
0.05 percent. Gains by cyclical stocks helped Europe's benchmark STOXX
600 index inch up 0.2 percent.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
<.MIAPJ0000PUS> also gained, shaking off jitters that gripped markets
after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to shut down the U.S.
government and end the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Trump said on Tuesday he would be willing to risk a government shutdown
to secure funding for a wall along the Mexico border. Those comments
came before a late-September deadline to raise the U.S. debt ceiling or
risk defaulting on debt payments.
Fitch Ratings said on Wednesday failure to raise the debt ceiling soon
would lead it to review the United States' sovereign rating with
"potentially negative implications.
But Japan's Nikkei <.N225> fell 0.4 percent, dragged down a stronger yen
and by steel makers, after reports that the country's biggest producer
was cutting prices.
Markets were focusing on the central banking conference in Jackson Hole,
Wyoming, where Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central
Bank President Mario Draghi were both due to speak, although new policy
messages were considered unlikely.
Still, "there are concerns about what central bankers will say as the
market appears stretched, especially Wall Street, where valuations look
to have reached a limit," said Enrico Vaccari, a fund manager at Italy's
[to top of second column]
Pedestrians leave and enter the London Stock Exchange in London,
Britain August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Vaccari said he saw risks of a stock market correction after Jackson Hole that
was unlikely to leave Europe stocks unscathed, even though valuations in the
regions had become attractive again compared with their U.S. peers.
"Europe can't make it on its own, especially because of the super-euro," he
The dollar edged up against some other major currencies after falling on worries
about a possible U.S. government shutdown. The dollar is down 14 percent against
the euro this year.
The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of six other
major currencies, gained 0.2 percent to 93.311 on Thursday, following the
previous day's 0.4 percent slide.
The euro slipped 0.1 percent at $1.17935, after climbing 0.4 percent on
Wednesday on surveys that showed German and French manufacturing and services
were expanding .
In commodities, oil was steady, holding on to most of their recent gains after
another fall in U.S. crude inventories indicated a tighter market, and as a
tropical storm headed towards oil producing facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were trading
flat at $52.58 per barrel.
(Reporting by Danilo Masoni; additional reporting by Nichola Saminather in
Singapore; Editing by Larry King)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.