Stock Markets Today: Global Stocks Lower Ahead of US Data

BEIJING (AP) -- Global stocks and Wall Street futures declined Monday ahead of a U.S. economic update that is expected to show growth slowing.

London and Frankfurt opened lower. Shanghai and Hong Kong declined while Tokyo advanced. Oil prices fell.

Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index gained 0.1% on Friday but ended with a small loss for the week.

U.S. data this week are expected to show first-quarter economic growth weakened following interest rate hikes to cool business activity and inflation. That might encourage the Federal Reserve to postpone or scale down more possible rate hikes at its May meeting.

France and Germany also report economic growth this week following surveys that show European factory activity declining.

"There is no doubt that the global economy is weakening and vulnerable to further slowing," Clifford Bennett of ACY Securities said in a report.

In early trading, the FTSE in London fell 0.2% to 7,901.22 and the DAX in Frankfurt opened 0.1% lower at 15,860.34. The CAC 40 in Paris shed 0.3% to 7,558.20.

On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark S&P 500 index was down 0.4%. That for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.3% lower.

On Friday, the S&P 500 and the Dow rose 0.1% as investors focused on the corporate earnings and forecasts.

Health care companies and consumer product makers gained ground, offsetting losses in banks, technology stocks and elsewhere. Truist Financial and KeyCorp, two of the larger regional banks, were among the biggest decliners in the S&P 500. Truist fell 6% and KeyCorp ended 3.7% lower.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8% to 3,275.41 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo advanced 0.1% to 28,593.52. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong retreated 0.6% to 19,959.94.

The Kospi in Seoul sank 0.8% to 2,523.50 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 lost less than 0.1% to 7,322.00.

India's Sensex advanced 0.5% to 59,965.24. New Zealand and Singapore advanced while Bangkok declined.

Forecasters expect Thursday's data to show U.S. economic growth decelerated to 2% in the first three months of 2023 from 2.6% in last year's final quarter.

Traders are watching whether the Fed and other central banks can rein in inflation that was near multi-decade highs without tipping the global economy into recession. The Fed is expected to raise its key lending rate one more time at its May meeting and then take a break.

U.S. companies have been beating earnings forecasts. Analysts expected the sharpest drop in S&P 500 earnings per share since the pandemic stunned the economy in 2020. Analysts polled by FactSet expect profits to contract by 6.3% for companies in the S&P 500.

Coca-Cola reports results Monday, followed Tuesday by McDonald's and Google's parent, Alphabet.

Airplane maker Boeing and Meta Platforms, Facebook's parent, report Wednesday. Investors get details on the health of the airline industry when American Airlines and Southwest Airlines report Thursday, along with internet retail giant Amazon.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 13 cents to $77.74 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 50 cents on Friday to $77.87. Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trading, shed 20 cents to $81.26 per barrel in London. It gained 56 cents the previous session to $81.66.

The dollar gained to 134.33 yen from Friday's 134.21 yen. The euro advanced to $1.0992 from $1.0977.