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Top 5 Things to Know in The Market on Thursday

Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, February 28:

1. Trump- Kim Talks Collapse

U.S. President Donald Trump said he had walked away from a nuclear deal at his summit with Kim Jong-un because of unacceptable demands from the North Korean leader to lift punishing U.S.-led sanctions.

"It was all about the sanctions," Trump said at a news conference after the talks were cut short. "Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn't do that."

Trump said two days of talks in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi had made good progress in building relations and on the key issue of denuclearization, but it was important not to rush into a bad deal.

"Sometimes you have to walk, and this was just one of those times," Trump said, adding "it was a friendly walk."

2. Cold Shower for U.S.-China Trade Hopes

Markets have turned more cautious on trade developments between the U.S. and China after comments from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer about a possible deal between Washington and Beijing.

Lighthizer told a Congressional hearing on Wednesday it was too early to predict an outcome to the U.S.-China trade negotiations. U.S. issues with China are "too serious" to be resolved with promises from Beijing to purchase more U.S. goods, and any deal between the two countries must include a way to ensure commitments are met, he told U.S. lawmakers.

That was his first public comment since Trump announced a delay to the scheduled increase in Chinese import tariffs on Sunday.

3. China's Manufacturing Downturn Deepens

Markets digested more weak economic data out of China, where factory activity contracted to a three-year low as export orders fell at the fastest pace since the global financial crisis.

The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 49.2 in February from 49.5 in January, pointing to a contraction in activity for the third straight month, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Analysts had forecast the manufacturing gauge would stay unchanged from January's 49.5. The 50-mark separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.

The gloomy findings are likely to reinforce views that the world's second-largest economy is still losing steam, after growth last year cooled to a near 30-year low.

4. U.S. Futures Point to Lower Open

U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open, as risk sentiment took a hit amid shaky trade talks and the collapse of the Trump-Kim summit.

The blue-chip Dow futures were down 55 points, or about 0.2%, by 5:40AM ET (10:40 GMT), the S&P 500 futures shed 7 points, or roughly 0.2%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a decline of 30 points, or around 0.4%.

In earnings, Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), JC Penney (NYSE:JCP), Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL), Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK) and Workday (NASDAQ:WDAY) are among some of the companies due to publish quarterly figures, as the fourth-quarter earnings season continues to wind down.

Elsewhere, European stocks were lower for the second day in a row, with all continental bourses in the red. London's FTSE 100 fared the worst, down around 0.9%.

Earlier, Asian shares closed lower, with South Korea's KOSPI plunging around 2%.

5. U.S. 4Q GDP Coming Up

Investors will keep an eye on a preliminary reading of fourth-quarter U.S. growth due at 8:30AM ET (13:30 GMT) for fresh clues on the strength of the economy.

The data, which was originally scheduled for Jan. 30 but delayed by the government shutdown, is expected to show the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.6% in the last three months of 2018, cooling from growth of 3.4% in the preceding quarter.

Today's calendar also features data on weekly jobless claims as well as the Chicago PMI survey.

Markets will also pay close attention to comments from several Fed speakers for any new insight on their views on the economy and how that can affect monetary policy.

Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida will speak at the National Association for Business Economics Policy Conference, in Washington DC, at 8:00AM ET (13:00 GMT).

Fed Chair Jerome Powell is then scheduled to deliver comments at the Citizens Budget Commission Awards Dinner, in New York at 8:15PM ET.


The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.2% at 95.84, falling back towards a three-week low of 95.75 it touched a day earlier.

-- Reuters contributed to this report


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