For Tom Arnold and Swati Pandey
LONDON / SYDNEY, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Global stocks struggled on Friday to avoid a fourth straight day of losses on data that showed euro zone business activity slowed in February, while debt yields British and German 10-month highs hit multi-month highs.
* The European equity index added 0.1% but was still on track to post its first weekly loss for February as IHS Markit’s preliminary composite PMI index for the region moved closer to the 50 level that separates growth. contraction.
* London’s FTSE index was up 0.1% amid data showing UK retail sales collapsed in January.
* The MSCI Global Equity Index rose 0.1%, while the MSCI Asia Pacific index fell 0.1% to 733.9 points, from Thursday’s record high of 745.89 points.
* Wall Street S&P 500 Index futures were mostly flat.
* Global stocks have been underpinned in recent months by expectations of a looser monetary policy and greater fiscal stimulus in the world, in addition to the start of vaccinations against COVID-19.
* “It’s a weird thing to think that just a year ago investors were worried about depression and deflation and now they’re worried about over-accelerated growth and inflation (reflation),” said Shane Oliver, economist at AMP.
* Government bond yields have been rising around the world, led by operations based on expectations of accelerating inflation and growth. The momentum generated by the extended vaccination programs and the huge fiscal expenditures that the Administration of President Joe Biden will make in the United States have maximized the trend.
* Yields on German 10-year debt were headed for their worst week since mid-June, but rose in early trading on Friday. 10-year UK paper returns were at an 11-year ceiling of 0.66% and the yield on the 10-year US bond was trading close to 1.3%.
* Rising bond returns affect the attractiveness of gold, whose spot prices fell to a seven-month low before recovering to trade at $ 1,773 an ounce.
(Reporting by Swati Pandey in Sydney; additional reporting by Pete Schroeder in Washington. Edited in Spanish by Marion Giraldo)