Stocks Edge Lower After Long Weekend

By Jon Sindreu and Kenan Machado Features Dow Jones Newswires

Stock markets around the world moved lower Tuesday after a long holiday weekend.

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The Stoxx Europe 600 was down 0.5% in early European trade. Losses were led by the banking sector, which was down almost 1.3%, a sign of higher risk aversion among investors.

Futures pointed to a 0.1% opening loss for the S&P 500.

In the U.K., the FTSE 100 fell 0.6%, dragged down by a 3.4% drop in shares of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, owner of British Airways and Iberia, after an IT outage left thousands of passengers stranded during the long weekend.

In Asia, the Nikkei Stock Average closed broadly flat, having been down as much as 0.6% during the day, as the yen strengthened against the U.S. dollar. The South Korean Kospi was down 0.4% and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.2%.

Although most traders came back from holidays Tuesday, markets in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan remained shut for the Dragon Boat Festival.

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After a positive first quarter for corporate earnings, investors are now trying to gauge how long the current environment of market optimism and low volatility can last. Since the start of the year, funds have started moving more of their money into Europe and emerging markets, as data shows the U.S. is no longer alone in powering global economic growth.

But some money managers are concerned that a few sectors of the U.S. economy, such as the auto industry, are flashing warning lights after years of good performance.

"Clearly we are late in the economic cycle," said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial, though he added that "we've got another year or two of good potential economic growth" in the U.S.

Both the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank have signaled that monetary policy will remain loose for long, which provides a boost for both stocks and bonds.

Figures on U.S. consumer confidence and personal income and spending are due this week, as is the closely watched monthly jobs report. Meanwhile, eurozone inflation and economic confidence data will shed further light on the strength of the Continent's recovery.

On Tuesday, figures showed the French economy grew at a faster rate than previously estimated during the first quarter of the year.

In currencies, the yen was up 0.4% against the U.S. dollar and 0.6% against the euro Tuesday, amid a string of strong data releases in Japan on Tuesday.

Yoko Kubota contributed to this article.

Write to Jon Sindreu at jon.sindreu@wsj.com and Kenan Machado at kenan.machado@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 30, 2017 04:04 ET (08:04 GMT)