Asian markets rallied on Thursday, as hopes for additional easing by the Federal Reserve boosted sentiment. The Nikkei gained .5% to 9178, the Kospi edged up .4% to 1943, and the ASX 200 inched up .2% to 4384. HSBC flash PMI data from China fell to 47.8, an 8-month low. The Hang Seng climbed 1.2% to 20132, and the Shanghai Composite rose .3% to 2113, largely shrugging off the weak data.
European markets settled mostly lower, surrendering early gains, as weak PMI data from the euro zone raised growth fears. The DAX slumped 1% to 6950, the CAC40 skidded .8% to 3433, while the FTSE rose fractionally to 5777.
US indexes sank as well, as the Dow slumped 115 points to 13075. The Nasdaq fell .7% to 3053, and the S&P 500 dropped .8% to 1402.
Hewlett-Packard shares plunged 8.2% after cutting its outlook and missing revenue forecasts. The company has struggled as consumers increasingly rely on mobile devices for their computing needs, eschewing computer purchases.
Treasuries and Commodities
10-year notes rose 6/32 to yield 1.67%, and 30-year notes gained 13/32 to yield 2.78%.
Crude oil skidded 1.2% to 96.05, natural gas eased .1% to 2.822, while gasoline edged up .2% to 3.1115.
Silver rallied for its 4th straight day, jumping 3.1% to 30.485. Gold surged 1.9% to 1669.70, and copper climbed .5% to 3.473.
Agricultural futures tanked, as wheat and corn both dropped 2.4%.
The Dollar traded mixed on Thursday, following Wednesday’s slide. The Euro and Swiss Franc gained .3% apiece to 1.2565 and .9559 respectively. The Australian Dollar fell .6% to 1.0441, the Canadian Dollar declined .3% to .9937, and the Pound eased .1% to 1.5860. The Yen ticked up .1% to 78.47.
Weekly unemployment claims rose to 372K from 368K, 7K more than expected. On the upside, new home sales rose to 372K from 359K, exceeding forecasts. Flash manufacturing PMI rose to 51.9 from 51.4.
Friday’s sole report will be durable goods orders. No major earnings reports are scheduled.