Global stocks pressured by Kim-Trump summit failure

AFP – World stock markets came under pressure Thursday as a summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un ended abruptly without an agreement.

Asian equities had been fluctuating throughout the day on tempered optimism over China-US trade talks, weak factory data from Beijing and fresh geopolitical tensions in Kashmir.

But they took a decisive turn south after an expected lunch and signing ceremony between the United States and North Korean leaders was called off at the last minutes.

Asian markets were also pressured by data showing China’s manufacturing activity in February at its worst level in three years.

In Europe, Frankfurt and Paris managed a small recovery by the close, while London remained in the red.

US stocks finished modestly lower following data that showed economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter but still topped analyst expectations.

"Global equities in general have pulled back as risk sentiment took a hit after the US and North Korea failed to reach an agreement over denuclearization for the (Korean) peninsula," said XTB analyst David Cheetham.

"US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un abruptly cut short their summit in Hanoi, and in doing so cancelled a signing ceremony as the two leaders failed to make any tangible progress and agree terms on the deal."

The two sides put forward starkly different accounts over the breakdown of a high-stakes summit in Hanoi, with Trump saying the talks ended because the North Koreans wanted sanctions lifted in their entirety and North Korea saying that it promised a complete dismantling of nuclear facilities in exchange for sanctions relief. 

The US economic report showed growth tapered down to an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter, a sharp drop from 3.4 percent in the third quarter, but above the 2.3 percent expected by analysts.

Story continues below
Advertisement
Story continues below
Advertisement

"The data we had today is slightly better than people would have thought," said Maris Ogg of Tower Bridge Advisors.

"The market reaction shows us that the worst fears are not going to be realized."

Analysts have been readying for a pullback or pause in US stocks after Wall Street surged nearly 20 percent since late December.

– Key figures around 2200 GMT –

New York – Dow: DOWN 0.3 percent at 25,916.00 (close)

New York – S&P 500: DOWN 0.3 percent at 2,784.49 (close)

New York – Nasdaq: DOWN 0.3 percent at 7,532.53 (close)

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.5 percent at 7,074.73 (close)

Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.3 percent at 11,515.64 (close)

Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.3 percent at 5,240.53 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.5 percent at 3,298.26 (close)

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.8 percent at 21,385.16 (close)

Story continues below
Advertisement
Story continues below
Advertisement

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.4 percent at 28,633.18 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.4 percent at 2,940.95 (close)

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3263 from $1.3309 at 2200 GMT

Euro/pound: UP at 85.72 pence from 85.43 pence

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1374 from $1.1370

Dollar/yen: UP at 111.39 yen from 111.00 yen

Oil – Brent Crude: DOWN 36 cents at $66.03 per barrel

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 28 cents at $57.22 per barrel

Story continues below
Advertisement
Story continues below
Advertisement