U.S. Stock Futures Fall on Brexit, China Growth Woes; Lifeless Crypto Market Drift Sideways
U.S. stock futures declined on Monday, as concerns over Brexit and the health of China’s economy weighed on investors’ sentiment. Crypto markets were largely uneventful following a sudden correction early Sunday.
Stock Futures Falter
Futures tied to the Dow Jones, Nasdaq and S&P 500 Index finished lower in holiday trading. The Dow Jones mini futures contract fell 72.00 points to 24,615.00. The March contract for Nasdaq futures declined 31.25 points to 6,761.50. S&P 500 mini futures closed down 8.25 points at 2,663.25.
U.S. markets were closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq will resume regular trading hours on Tuesday.
European equity markets were also down on Monday. The Euro Stoxx 50 Pr declined 0.3% to 3,125.07. Bourses in Frankfurt, Paris and Madrid declined by at least 0.2%. London’s FTSE 100 Index broke even in the final moments of Monday’s session.
China, Brexit in the Spotlight
Concerns about the global economy resurfaced Monday after China reported the slowest pace of annual growth in nearly three decades. Gross domestic product (GDP), the value of all goods and services produced in the economy, grew 6.6% annually, the slowest since 1990. In the fourth quarter, China’s annual growth rate slipped to 6.4%.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has once again revised down its estimate for global growth, warning that the synchronized global recovery was losing steam. The Washington-based lending institution now expects global GDP to grow 3.5% in 2019 and 3.6% in 2020. That’s down from the October estimate of 3.7% for both years.
Another form of instability comes from the United Kingdom, which is still grappling with how to proceed on the issue of Brexit. Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday unveiled a new Brexit plan after her initial bill was shot down by British Parliament last week. A vote on the so-called Brexit Plan B is scheduled for Jan. 29.
Crypto Markets Drift Aimlessly
The cryptocurrency market saw little movement on Monday, as a lack of conviction from the bulls and the bears kept price action subdued. Tron was the notably exception among the major cryptocurrencies, gaining 5.1% to $0.0250.
Bitcoin’s price was little changed over the 24-hour cycle and was last seen trading at $3,583.44. The largest cryptocurrency by market cap dropped 4% on Sunday after gaining nearly 3% during the previous session.
Altcoins and tokens traded in a similar fashion at the start of the week. XRP edged up 0.3% to $0.3196. Ethereum fell 1% to $117.79. Bitcoin cash, EOS and Stellar XLM were little changed during the session.
The combined crypto market cap held below $120 billion on Monday.
In terms of news, Ethereum’s developer communication has announced that the highly-anticipated Constantinople hard fork will take place Feb. 27. The rollout, which was originally scheduled last week, was delayed after developers identified a major security flaw in one of the Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP).
Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.
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