Asian markets retreated on Wednesday. The Hang Seng fell 1.2% to 20052, and the Shanghai Composite sank 1.1% to 2119, after China Life Insurance missed earnings forecasts, pressuring financials. The Nikkei eased 5 points to 8925, and the ASX 200 declined .3% to 4281 as miners skidded more than 1%. Korean markets were closed for a holiday.
In Europe, stocks closed moderately lower. The FTSE fell .5% to 5833, the DAX slipped .4% to 6497, and the CAC40 closed down 1 point to 3449. Mining stocks fell after UK-listed Kazakh tumbled nearly 9% following a weak earnings report.
US indexes ended mixed, after trading in a narrow range. The Dow eased 7 points to 13165, the Nasdaq advanced .5% to 3031, and the S&P 500 edged up .1% to 1405.
Deere sank 6.3% and Staples tumbled 14.6% after missing earnings forecasts. In contrast, Abercrombie & Fitch surged 9% after earnings beat expectations.
Treasuries and Commodities
10-year noted tumbled 1 10/32 to yield 1.81%, and 30-year notes sank 1 18/32 to yield 2.92%.
Gold edged up .2% to 1604.30, silver inched up .1% to 27.79, while copper fell .3% to 3.3505.
The Dollar traded mostly mixed against global currencies on Wednesday. The Euro slid .3% to 1.2286, and the Pound ticked up fractionally. The Canadian Dollar advanced .3% to .9892, and the Australian Dollar rose .1% to 1.0505. The Yen declined .2% to 78.86.
The Empire State manufacturing index unexpectedly contracted to -5.9 from last month’s 7.4 reading. On a brighter note, CPI was flat, below forecasts for a .2% increase, and the NAHB housing market index rose to 37, beating forecasts of 35.
Thursday’s reports will include weekly unemployment claims, housing starts, the Philly Fed survey, and building permits.
Earnings are due from Wal-Mart, Gap, and Sears.