Marketmind: China worries markets


A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Ankur Banerjee

An economic data-packed day awaits European markets after a laboured Asia session, where investors were back to worrying about China’s ailing property sector and the prospect of tighter security laws for Hong Kong.

The financial hub’s leader confirmed on Tuesday his intention to pass fresh national security laws soon to build on sweeping legislation Beijing imposed on the city in 2020.

GDP in the euro zone, France and German for the fourth quarter will be key economic reading for the European session, while results from spirits manufacturer Diageo, the maker of Johnnie Walker whisky, may provide a better picture of discretionary spending.

On a macro level, the week will be defining in determining the outlook on interest rates as well as how companies are faring, with a bulk of firms reporting this week, including Microsoft, Alphabet and AMD later on Tuesday.

While worries over China’s property market after court-ordered liquidation of troubled giant China Evergrande dragged Asian stocks lower, futures indicate European bourses are set for a higher open, extending their rally this week.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index will aim to rise further after touching a fresh two-year peak, coming off its best weekly performance in three months.

Geopolitical tensions have led oil prices higher, while gold has seen safe haven bids, with investors jittery about escalating clashes in the Middle East.

The United States vowed to take “all necessary actions” to defend American forces after a drone attack killed three U.S. troops in Jordan.

White House National Security spokesman John Kirby said on Monday the United States did not want a wider war with Iran or in the region, “but we got to do what we have to do.”

Iran has denied any role in the attacks.

In corporate news, Airbus shares could get a lift from Boeing’s ongoing troubles. The planemaker withdrew a request for a coveted exemption that would have allowed U.S. regulators to potentially speed up certification of its coming 737 MAX 7.

Elsewhere, billionaire Elon Musk said the first human patient has received an implant from his brain-chip startup Neuralink on Sunday and is recovering well.

Key developments that could influence markets on Tuesday:

Economic events: Q4 GDP flash data for euro zone, France and Germany; euro zone consumer confidence for January

Earnings: Diageo, Microsoft, Alphabet, AMD and Pfizer

(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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