11:50 AM New York – U.S. stocks traded sideways and investors awaited monetary policy committee statement. China’s international trade in June extended slowdown for the sixth month in a row. European markets declined on falling commodities prices.
Stocks on Wall Street were little changed and investors awaited minutes of Fed’s policy meeting and China reported a decline in exports for the first time since January 2012.
The S&P 500 index fell 3.12 to 1,649.27 and the Nasdaq Composite Index increased 3.10 to 3,507.24.
China’s June Export Decline Highlight Weakening Trend
China’s customs agency reported exports in June declined 3.1% from a year ago to $174.32 and imports fell 0.7% to $147.19 billion.
The monthly decline only highlighted the weakening trend in place in the last six months. Exports in May rose 1% and imports fell 0.3%.
Total foreign trade in first quarter increased 13.5% from a year ago and rose 4.3% in the second quarter and in May rose only 0.3% and in June declined 2%, according to the General Administration of Customs spokesman Zheng Yuesheng.
Zheng added that in the first-half foreign trade increased 8.6% to $2 trillion and exports rose 10.4% to $1.05 trillion and imports increased 6.7% to $944.87.
China has also been cracking down on fake invoicing and rerouting of exports through Hong Kong. The latest data showed the dramatic change in exports data.
China’s exports to Hong Kong increased 92% in March from February, and growth declined to 57% in April from previous month and dropped to 7.7% on a monthly basis in May and fell to 7% in June.
European markets traded lower and France reported less than expected slowdown in industrial production and Italian production rose in May.
Italian industrial production increased 0.1% in May after dropping 0.3% in April. Production from a year ago declined 4.2% in May on 12% fall in mining activities and 15% decline in oil refining activities.
Yesterday, the rating agency Standard & Poor’s lowered Italy’s long term debt rating to BBB, two levels above junk and the agency cited falling economic conditions and struggling financial conditions.
In France, industrial production decreased 0.4% and rising 2.2% in April, national statistics agency Insee said in Paris today.
Separately, Bank of France said earlier in the week that gross domestic product increased 0.2% in the second quarter to June.
In addition the central bank said factory executive confidence increased to the highest level in two years in June.
Markets in Asia traded mixed after China reported international trade data that highlighted weakening trend in global economy.
Market indexes in Japan closed down 0.4% and in Hong Kong jumped 1.1% and in Mumbai fell 0.7%.