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China slowdown drags on stocks; Oil & Gas active ahead of inventories

CMC Markets

Flash PMI results have been coming out overnight and so far China’s report has had the biggest impact on trading. The drop under 50 into contraction territory has spooked traders into thinking that not only is a rebound not underway, conditions may be worsening again. This news sent China sensitive markets like the Hang Seng, S&P/ASX, copper and AUD sharply lower, while sparking a rebound in defensive havens like CHF, gold and silver. NZD has been able to hold its own and outperform its peers today after NZ PMI and consumer confidence did nothing to change speculation of an upcoming RBNZ interest rate hike. European indices have been mixed today with the Dax, FTSE and CAC joining the global retreat while the MIB and IBEX have rebounded a bit. European currencies have been trading higher on the day, taking advantage of a pullback in USD. US indices appear to be heading for a lower open across the board although the technology-weighted NASDAQ may see its fall cushioned by the positive reaction overnight to Netflix’s strong earnings report and growth plans and shareholder activism at eBay. Traders should note though that soft Chinese data likely won’t have any impact on whether the Fed tapers next week or not. Energy commodities are active again today. Natural gas has been exploding higher overnight gaining over 4.5% as the Polar Vortex over consuming regions keeps temperatures low and heating demand high. Brent crude and gasoline have fallen back a bit on the China news but WTI remains supported following yesterday’s rally. Later this morning crude oil, natural gas and gasoline weekly inventory reports are due which could spark more trading action. Corporate News Netflix $0.79 vs street $0.65, guides Q1 $0.78 vs street $0.75, planning European expansion eBay $0.81 vs street $0.80, Carl Icahn has bought a 0.82% stak and nominated two directors and proposed a spinoff of PayPal into a separate company SanDisk $1.71 vs street $1.58, revenue $1.73B vs street $1.70B guides Q1 sales $1.45-$1.52B vs street $1.52B Western Digital $2.19 vs street $2.08 Nokia €0.08 vs street €0.06 McDonalds $1.40 vs street $1.39 Union Pacific $2.55 vs street $2.49 Economic News Significant economic announcements released yesterday afternoon and overnight include: US jobless claims 326K vs street 330K Canada retail sales 0.6% vs street 0.3% US flash manuf PMI street 55.0 China flash PMI 49.6 vs previous 50.5 France flash manuf PMI 48.8 vs street 47.5 France flash service PMI 48.6 vs street 48.0 Germany flash manuf PMI 56.3 vs street 54.7 Germany flash service PMI 53.6 vs street 54.0 Eurozone flash manuf PMI 53.9 vs street 53.0 Eurozone flash service PMI 51.9 vs street 51.4 NZ PMI 56.4 vs previous 56.7 NZ consumer confidence 135.8 vs previous 129.4 Singapore consumer prices 1.5% vs street 2.0% and previous 2.6% Economic reports due later today include: 10:00 am EST US existing home sales street 4.9M 10:00 am EST US leading indicators street 0.2% 10:30 am EST US natural gas street (112BCF) 11:00 am EST US crude oil inventories street 0.7 mmbbbls 11:00 am EST US gasoline inventories previous 6.18mmbbls

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