European shares look set to open lower on Thursday as risk sentiment continues to deteriorate.
Asian stock markets gave up early gains to turn broadly lower as investors remained unclear how the Korean situation will play out.
On the economic front, Japan’s core machinery orders, an indicator of capital spending, unexpectedly fell for a third consecutive month in June, underscoring the fragile nature of the country’s export-driven economic recovery.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand held its official cash rate at a record low 1.75 percent, as widely expected, and said monetary policy will remain accommodative for a considerable period.
Closer home, the U.K. house price balance came in with a score of +1 in July, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said. That was well shy of forecasts for a score of +9, and down sharply from +7 in June.
The dollar index held steady after the flight-to-safety into U.S. Treasuries abated overnight. Oil futures inched down after overnight gains as data showed U.S. crude inventories fell more than expected.
Amid little positive triggers, investors now look ahead to U.S. inflation data due this week for additional clues on the Fed’s rate outlook.
Chicago Fed President Charles Evans on Wednesday said it would be reasonable to announce the beginning of a reduction of the Fed’s $4.5 trillion balance sheet next month, but inflation would have to accelerate to support interest-rate increases at the end of the year.
Overnight, U.S. stocks ended slightly lower in reaction to geopolitical tensions and weak earnings updates by Walt Disney and other big companies.
The Dow slid 0.2 percent and the S&P 500 edged down marginally while the Nasdaq Composite shed 0.3 percent.
European markets ended Wednesday’s session sharply lower after North Korea renewed its threat to strike a U.S. military base in Guam and a car hit a group of soldiers in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret in what the suburb’s mayor called a deliberate act.