Marketmind: A lacklustre end to a painful week

A look at the day ahead from Karin Strohecker.

It hasn’t been a pretty week for equity investors – or many others really.

The Delta variant keeps spreading, economies keep slowing, China keeps going with its regulatory crack down. And on top of that, Fed tapering remains likely this year – leaving some to fear that Jerome Powell’s team could deliver what they see as a policy mistake, tapering into a slowing economy.

World stocks (.MIWD00000PUS) are set for a 2.5% weekly drop, the Hang Seng tech index (.HSTECH) has tumbled 12% over the same period – both suffering their worst such falls since February.

With Beijing just having passed a new personal data privacy law – another plank in its push to regulate cyberspace — Asian stocks (.MIAPJ0000PUS) fell again. European futures fare mixed, U.S. futures flag losses ahead.

Hopes that more stimulus from China could shore up sentiment faded after Beijing’s central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a 16th consecutive month.

Predictably, the safe-haven dollar is enjoying all this and scaling fresh 9-1/2 month peaks, inflicting some losses on commodities. Oil is on track for a weekly loss of over 5%, while global bond yields stayed subdued.

Now it’s all eyes on the Fed’s annual research conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, next week, where Powell will give a closely watched speech.

In the meantime, Germany said its economy is on track for a lasting, probably stronger recovery in the third quarter driven by lively domestic demand as markets fret over another coronavirus wave rippling through the region.

It’s pretty slim pickings on the corporate front.

British supermarket Morrisons (MRW.L) is in focus after it upended a take over bid from a consortium led by Fortress Investment Group by agreeing to a higher offer worth 7.0 billion pounds ($9.5 billion) from U.S. private equity group Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R).

Irish construction material firm Kingspan (KSP.I) reports a record H1 profit, U.S. machinery maker Deere & Co (DE.N) posts earnings later in the day.

Key developments that should provide more direction to markets on Friday:

China passes new personal data privacy law

Japan consumer price falls narrow

Japan CPI July/retail sales

China Evergrande vows to resolve debt risks read more

New Zealand’s Ardern extends lockdown

UK retail sales drop unexpectedly in July

German producer prices July

Earnings: Deere & Co, Footlocker