Asian markets retreated on Thursday, as weak retail sales data from Japan weighed on the region. The Nikkei fell 1% to 8984, the Kospi sank 1.4% to 1906, and the ASX dropped .9% to 4316. The Hang Sang slumped 1.2% to 19553, a 1-month low, while the Shanghai Composite ended flat at 2053.
In Europe, markets sank amid concerns over Spain’s potential bailout. The DAX tumbled 1.6%, the CAC40 slid 1%, and the FTSE declined .4%. An Italian debt auction fared better than expected, as the government sold 7.3 billion euro of 10-year notes with a yield of 5.82%.
Pandora jumped 14.3% after earnings beat forecasts.
Treasuries and Commodities
10-year notes rose 8/32 to yield 1.62%, and 30-year notes gained 13/32 to yield 2.74%.
Crude oil slipped .7% to 94.86 and gasoline fell .6% to 3.0816 as fears over tropical storm Isaac died down. Natural gas jumped 2.7% to 2.757.
Silver skidded 1.5% to 30.367, gold declined .3% to 1655.50, and copper eased .2% to 3.4375.
Currency trading remained slow as the market continued to consolidate. The Australian Dollar fell .6% to 1.0289, continuing its retreat, and the Pound dipped .3% to 1.5786. The Euro and Swiss Franc slipped .2% to 1.2509 and .9601 respectively, while the Yen inched up .1% to 78.64.
Weekly unemployment claims remained unchanged from last week at 374K, slightly above forecasts for 370K. Personal spending rose by .4%, inline with estimates, while personal income rose .3%, less than expected.
Friday’s focus will be Bernanke’s address from Jackson Hole. Also due are Chicago PMI, consumer sentiment, and factory orders.