NEW YORK: Global equity markets slipped on Friday despite upbeat factory data worldwide, while the euro fell to a two-week low against the dollar on expectations that a rate cut by the European Central Bank is possible by the end of the year.
Stocks on Wall Street edged lower after data showing U.S. manufacturing expanded briskly in October raised some worries that the U.S. Federal Reserve may scale back its massive
stimulus much sooner than expected.
U.S. equities have been pressured since a Fed statement on Wednesday raised concerns about when the central bank would begin to scale back its stimulus program, which has fueled the benchmark S&P 500 index’s 23-percent rally this year.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of U.S. factory activity rose to 56.4 last month – its best showing since April 2011 – from 56.2 in September. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a reading of 55.
The S&P and Dow Jones industrial average have repeatedly hit record highs this year, including earlier in the week, but the strong gains have triggered some concerns about how much further the rally can continue, especially in light of tepid corporate revenue growth.