Commodity prices caught a break from a bruising sell-off on Wednesday, helping to put global equities on a slightly steadier footing after a rough week driven by fears over global demand.
The mood was far from euphoric, though, with European markets underperforming and U.S. equity futures edging down. Traders warned that markets were likely to give up their gains throughout the day and investors were preparing portfolios for year-end rather than making major new reallocations.
Economic data offered little to cheer about. China’s consumer inflation picked up but remained under the government’s 2015 price target of 3 percent. The ripple effects of China’s slowdown was evident in Europe, where German imports fell in October and exports also weakened.
“We are in a time when hedge funds are closing their books and people still haven’t given up on a rally before the end of the year,” said Markus Huber, a London-based trader at Peregrine & Black. “It does not look like Europe can hold onto the (positive) momentum.”
European equities were underperforming a broadly flat MSCI All-Country World index .MIWD00000PUS at 1221 GMT. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 was down 0.6 percent, with benchmark indexes in London, Paris and Frankfurt down around 0.2 to 0.9 percent after opening higher.