(Adds U.S. stock futures, updates prices)
* Main European markets dip in early trade
* Drops in iPhone, U.S. auto sales weigh ahead of jobs data
* Fed statement eyed for signal of June rate hike
* Graphic: World FX rates in 2017 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
By Patrick Graham
LONDON, May 3 Falls in iPhone and U.S. car sales
helped beat European stock markets back from 20-month highs on
Wednesday while the dollar inched up as investors priced in a
greater chance of further tightening of U.S. monetary policy
Falls in the price of copper and iron ore
fed in to a broadly flatter global mood and Wall Street was set
to open lower, adding to a run of steady losses since the
settling of nerves over French elections a week ago.
The surprise fall in Apple's iPhone sales in
the first quarter and drops in units sold by Ford and
General Motors added to nerves about the durability of
U.S. growth after a batch of shakier economic data last month.
"These numbers point to U.S. consumers becoming more
cautious and do seem like a source of some of the weakness
today," said Andy Sullivan, a portfolio manager with GL Asset
Management UK in London. "Autos, tech and basic resources are
leading Europe lower."
By 1134 GMT, the STOXX 600 index of leading
European shares was down 0.15 percent. France's CAC 40
and Germany's DAX fell 0.25 and 0.1 percent
respectively while the resource-heavy FTSE 100 dipped
After a mixed Asian session, with a number of major markets
closed, the MSCI global share index was marginally lower on the
day.. U.S. futures dipped by 0.1-0.2 percent
Since December, the U.S. Federal Reserve has finally begun
to deliver on long-disappointed expectations of a steady rise in
borrowing costs and an increase in official rates in June is now
65 percent priced in by markets, according to Reuters data.
But economic numbers in the past month have been less
convincing, and the latest gains for global share prices look as
much the product of an improving recovery in Europe as the
U.S.-based optimism that dominated the end of last year.
That raises the question, ahead of the Fed's May policy
decision later on Wednesday, of how much the world's largest
economy is capable of stomaching tighter monetary conditions
without a boost from tax cuts or new public spending.
Satoshi Okagawa, senior global markets analyst for Sumitomo
Mitsui Banking Corporation in Singapore, said the weak U.S. auto
sales could make market participants wary of actively buying the
dollar against the yen for now.
"Concerns about geopolitical risks such as North Korea had
weighed on the dollar against the yen recently ... But the focus
is shifting to whether the (strength) of U.S. economic
fundamentals is for real," he said.
"There is more data coming up including the jobs data, so
those need to be watched closely," he added, referring to the
U.S. nonfarm payrolls report due on Friday.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against
a basket of trade-weighted peers, rose 0.1 percent to 99.069.
It gained around 0.2 percent against the yen and
the euro on the day but remained below highs hit over the past
For Reuters Live Markets blog on European and UK stock
markets see reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=http://emea1.apps.cp.extranet.thomsonreuters.biz/cms/?pageId=livemarkets
(Additional reporting by Nichola Saminather in Singapore;
Editing by Catherine Evans)