July 15, 2019 / 12:45 AM / 4 months ago

China data steadies stocks as U.S. earnings get underway

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gauge of global stocks rose modestly on Monday after economic data from China came in as expected, but equities on Wall Street slipped on weakness in financials in the wake of Citigroup’s earnings report.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

China’s second-quarter annual GDP growth rate fell to a 27-year low of 6.2%, as expected, while June reports on industrial production, retail sales and urban investment were above forecasts.

On Wall Street, major indexes were near flat, with the S&P kept in check after its first close above the 3,000 mark by a 0.5% decline in financial stocks following Citigroup earnings. The bank’s shares were last off 0.06% after losing as much as 2.4%.

“It’s definitely a wait-and-see environment,” said Oliver Pursche, chief market strategist at Bruderman Asset Management in New York.

“If (results) are better than expected, then we can see another leg up.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 26.86 points, or 0.1%, to 27,358.89, the S&P 500 gained 0.52 point, or 0.02%, to 3,014.29 and the Nasdaq Composite added 14.04 points, or 0.17%, to 8,258.19.

Equities have rallied since a sell-off in May as investors have grown more confident the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut its key interest rate by at least a quarter point late this month. Improving economic data, however, could complicate the Fed’s ability to lower rates.

Corporate earnings are also moving into focus with a slew of banks scheduled to follow Citi this week, including JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo. According to Refinitiv data, S&P 500 companies’ earnings are expected to show a decline of 0.3 percent for the quarter.

Other major companies scheduled to post results this week include Netflix, Microsoft and Honeywell.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.23% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.14%.

Germany’s Economy Ministry said it expected the economy to turn in a weak second quarter and said significant risks remain, buoying expectations the European Central Bank would take further easing measures at its meeting next week. Germany’s DAX closed up 0.52%.

Later in the week, U.S. retail sales and industrial production data will provide clues about the health of the world’s largest economy. The Fed will release its “Beige Book” on Wednesday and investors will look to it for insight on how trade tensions are affecting the business outlook.

U.S. Treasury yields were lower with investors eyeing the retail sales data due on Tuesday. Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 5/32 in price to yield 2.0887%, down from 2.106% late on Thursday.

Oil prices lost ground on signals the impact of Tropical Storm Barry on the U.S. Gulf Coast would have a short-term impact on production. U.S. crude settled down 1.05% at $59.58 per barrel and Brent was last at $66.48, down 0.36% on the day.

(GRAPHIC - Global assets in 2019: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl)

(GRAPHIC - Global currencies vs. dollar: tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh)

(GRAPHIC - MSCI All Country Wolrd Index Market Cap: tmsnrt.rs/2EmTD6j)

Additional reporting by April Joyner; Editing by Dan Grebler, Nick Zieminski and Jonathan Oatis

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