Morning Briefing: Banks in focus for markets

Morning Briefing: Banks in focus for markets

Morning Briefing: Banks in focus for markets Banks in focus for markets
New areas of concern continue to dampen confidence in world equity markets and Friday’s session is set to bring more volatility.

Banks are one part of the equation; earnings have been weaker than expected for the fourth quarter with pressure from lower commodity markets and a slowdown in growth weighing. The effects of central bank actions are also having a downward impact on banking stocks. Sweden is the latest to announce negative interest rates, dropping its short-term rate to minus 0.5 per cent.

Financial stocks and a broader sell-off in Asia following Wall Street’s weaker lead have seen Tokyo drop almost 5 per cent while Hong Kong and Sydney were off by around 1 per cent. Shanghai re-opens Monday.

European markets are higher so far with banks managing to see some gains as oil prices rebound and data shows some growth for the Eurozone.
Wall Street and Toronto are expected to open higher.
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North America (previous session)
US Dow Jones 15,660.18 (-1.60 per cent) -2.95 per cent -10.90 per cent
TSX Composite 12,087.37 (-0.81 per cent) -2.32 per cent -20.63 per cent
Europe (at 5.30am ET)
UK FTSE 5,612.51 (+1.36 per cent) -5.56 per cent -18.67 per cent
German DAX 8,854.04 (+1.16 per cent) -11.33 per cent -18.92 per cent
Asia (at close)
China CSI 300 2,963.79 (-0.70 per cent) -11.83 per cent -10.52 per cent
Japan Nikkei 14,952.61 (-4.84 per cent) -15.51 per cent -15.30 per cent
Other Data (at 6.00am ET)
Oil (Brent) Oil (WTI) Gold Can. Dollar
(+3.79 per cent)
(+3.66 per cent)
(-0.49 per cent)
Aus. Dollar

Eurozone grows but Greece is back in recession
New figures from the Eurozone show growth of 1.1 per cent for 19-country bloc, roughly in line with expectations but below the level of 2008, as the global recession began. Unemployment remains high and the region is not performing as well as many other developed economies including the UK, which is in the EU but not part of the Eurozone.

Meanwhile Greece has slipped back into recession according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority. Its GDP contracted 0.6 per cent in the fourth quarter and was down 1.9 per cent for the whole of 2015. However, the economy was not expected to grow following the bailout panic of last year and the quarterly drop was actually lower than the 0.8 per cent that had been predicted.