By Avantika Chilkoti 

-- U.S. stock futures rise

-- Asian, European stocks drop

-- U.S. Treasury yields drop

Global stocks wavered as a fresh round of weak economic data raised investors' concerns about world growth.

In the U.S., futures for the S&P 500 gained 0.1%.

Among the biggest risers in U.S. premarket trading was PepsiCo, which saw its shares climb 1.9% on a better-than-expected earnings report. The food-and-beverage company posted strong revenue growth, though foreign-exchange moves weighed on the business.

The Stoxx Europe 600 slipped 0.2% in afternoon trade, after suffering its worst performance this year Wednesday.

Fresh data added to the gloomy outlook for the broader European economy. The IHS Markit composite purchasing managers index -- an aggregate measure of activity among manufacturers and service providers -- fell to 50.1 in September from 51.9 in August, the lowest reading since June 2013.

U.K. stocks were a weak spot in the region, with London's FTSE 100 down 1.1% after a weak reading on the country's services sector, and fresh Brexit tensions.

The U.K. services purchasing managers index hit a six-month low of 49.5, below the 50 level that marks contraction. The figures reignited concerns that the economy is in recession, analysts at Capital Economics said, adding that economic performance will remain "well below par" while Brexit negotiations drag on.

Meanwhile, European officials gave a cool response to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's new proposals to break the deadlock over Brexit, just weeks ahead of the U.K.'s scheduled exit from the European Union.

Investors were also still digesting the news that the U.S. will impose new tariffs on EU goods, including jetliners, Irish and Scotch whiskies, cheeses and hand tools, starting later this month.

"The total size or volume of tariffs being applied to what does amount to quite an array of goods is actually very small when you consider just the goods trade between the U.S. and the European Union," said Matt Cairns, rates strategist at Rabobank.

Shares in Airbus were up 4.1% Thursday, while Pernod Ricard gained 3.1% and Rémy Cointreau was up 5.5%.

Shares of fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz gained 5.2% after the company reported its third-quarter earnings, which showed a 6% rise in net sales with a reduction in markdowns helping operating profits.

The yield on U.S. 10-year Treasurys dropped to 1.586% Thursday, from 1.594% Wednesday. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the currency against a basket of its peers, was down 0.1%.

"The [global] economy is fine without further escalation of the trade war, but what does an investor really have in terms of the next step in trade wars?" said Emiel van den Heiligenberg, head of asset allocation at Legal and General Investment Management. "No one can really predict what Trump will do next and that makes investors nervous."

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down 2%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed up 0.3%. Stock markets in China and South Korea were closed on Thursday.

Later Thursday, investors will be watching for data on U.S. services activity in September, as well as August factory orders, for clues about growth in the world's largest economy.

Joanne Chiu contributed to this article.

Write to Avantika Chilkoti at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 03, 2019 09:23 ET (13:23 GMT)

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