Chinese slowdown weighs down confidence: Morning market insights

US stocks were flat overnight as China’s slowdown weighed on confidence. Financial stocks retreated on concerns of the results of upcoming Federal Reserve stress tests on banks. Apple rose 1.3% after launching the new iPad last week, against the trend of the NASDAQ, which was down slightly overnight.

Wall Street

On the New York Stock Exchange, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.29% or 37.69 points to 12959.70.

The S&P500 Index was up 0.02% or 0.22 points to 1371.09.

The tech-heavy NASDAQ Index was down 0.16% or 0.16 points to 2983.66.

The world’s biggest company by market value, oil giant Exxon Mobil (XOM:US) moved ahead by 1.48% overnight to $US85.55, despite the oil price falling slightly.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil was trading 0.82% down at US$106.52 a barrel.

Gold was down 0.61% to US$1701.10 an ounce.

The Australian dollar fell slightly as the greenback gained value against several world currencies including the Euro and Canadian dollar. One Australian dollar is buying $US1.0514 this morning.

Europe

UK and European indexes were flat with mixed results. Germany’s second biggest Bank, Commerzbank (CBK:GR), was down 2% to 1.82 Euro. The bank was rescued by taxpayers in 2008 and is now smarting under the EU regulator’s orders to sell its Eurohypo unit, a public-finance and commercial-property lender, as part of its bailout conditions.

London’s FTSE 100 closed up 5.26 points overnight to 5892.75.

The German DAX closed up 0.31% or 21.14 points to 6901.35.

The European blue chip Stoxx50 index was flat at 0.04% down to 2514.97.

Italy confirms it is in recession

Italy’s national statistics institute confirmed overnight the country fell into recession late last year, contracting 0.7% from output in the previous three-month period. More

Ten-year borrowing costs for Italy and Spain dropped below a sustainable 5% but Portugal’s 10-year bonds are yielding more than 13% according to Bloomberg.

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