he global equity markets are mixed. US futures have retreated after closing near the session high on Wednesday. S&P Futures are down about 20 points to trade around the 4450 area. The market came back to test the zone of support created by the launch higher after the release of the FOMC minutes. The low print of 4435.75 was defended a couple times before the modest bounce. The high was established early in the session at 4474.75.
In Asia, China picked up 0.1% while Japan slid 0.8%. The Shanghai had an uneventful day with the index straddling the neutral zone throughout. The activity led to the muted net change. In Japan, the Nikkei’s decline was paced by heavyweights. The Japanese benchmark saw stocks such as Toyota, SoftBank and Fast Retailing decline 1-2%.
In Europe, the major bourses lack uniformity. There is divergence among stocks in specific sectors as well. Standard Chartered is down 5% after missing its fourth quarter forecasts. On the flip side, Commerzbank is up 6% after the German lender beat its fourth quarter expectations. The same can be said in the automotive space where Renault is down about 1% while peers Daimler and BMW are up nearly 2%.