Market Buzz: Investors not cheered by manufacturing data

(RIA Novosti / Ruslan Krivobok)
Russian markets are likely to continue their downward trend on Friday weighed by negative data from the eurozone and China.

­Russian stock markets fell on Thursday, marking a sixth day of declines amid the lack of new drivers at home and abroad. The RTS lost 2%, while the MICEX dropped 1.44%.

Almost all shares were on sale with energy company OGK-5 (+0.81), Norilsk Nickel (+0.56%) and KAMAZ car producer (+0.69%) showing better results.

US stocks dropped Thursday with energy and natural-resource stocks among decliners. The Dow Jones fell 0.6%, while the S&P dropped 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite declined 0.4%. Even positive data from the Labor Department revealing applications for jobless benefits last week had dropped to a four-year low failed to cheer up investors.

A report on new house purchases for February will be published later on Friday.

European stocks closed lower Thursday amid weaker-than-expected purchasing managers’ indices from France and Germany and data showing a sharp decline in Chinese manufacturing activity. Germany’s manufacturing PMI fell back at 49.1 from 50.2 in February, while French manufacturing PMI dropped to 47.6 from 50.0.

The Stoxx Europe 600 closed 1.2% lower at 265.49 for the fourth day in the row, while Germany’s DAX 30 closed 1.27% lower and France’s CAC 40 dropped 1.56%.

Asia markets fell Friday amid concerns on manufacturing slowdown, with Hong Kong’s banks and property firms among weak performers. Japan’s Nikkei Stock fell 1%, while the Shanghai Composite shed 0.5% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.9%. South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.3%, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.2%.