The European Commission has lowered its forecast for economic growth in the three largest economies in the eurozone this year, drawing attention to the slowdown in economic growth in China and the impact of the trade conflict between China and the United States.
The decrease in the forecast for 2019 may also affect the development of last year’s conflict between the EU and the Italian government over the country’s budget deficit for this year. The EC abandoned disciplinary action against Italy only because the updated budget was based on a forecast of higher economic growth in Italy than the 0.2% the Commission now predicts.
The news is in stark contrast to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, who noted the good health of the US economy, in a speech in Washington this Wednesday.
“Not without major events and surprises such as Brexit … but the economy remains strong,” Powell said, and stressed the good situation in the American economy with stable GDP growth and low employment.
By 2:40 PM UTC, Dow futures are down 156 points, or 0.62%, S&P 500 futures are down 17 points, or 0.65%, and high-tech Nasdaq 100 futures are down 46 points or 0. 66%.
In pre-market trading, SunTrust Banks Inc (NYSE: STI) shares jumped 1.8% following the announcement of a merger with BB&T (NYSE: BBT), which will acquire all of the company’s shares for approximately $ 66 billion. will create the sixth US bank in terms of assets.
Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH) rose 11% after the company’s earnings beat analysts’ expectations due to a surge in Tinder subscribers.
USA Technologies Inc (NASDAQ: USAT) shares fell 24% after the announcement that the company will revise its previous financial statements. Micron (NASDAQ: MU) dropped 1.25% and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) dropped 0.94% after the German regulator decided to restrict Facebook from transferring data between WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) was down 0.44%.
Gold futures fell 0.27% to $ 1,310.85 per troy ounce, the lowest in a week, while WTI crude oil futuresdropped 0.7% to $ 53.60 a barrel. The US dollar index, which measures the dollar’s purchasing power against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.24% to 96,380, its highest in two weeks.