Manufacturing in China Falls and Stocks Follow

Global stocks were lower on Monday as weakness in another manufacturing survey in China was seen, which added to the jitters over emerging economies.

In early trading in Europe, major bench benchmarks remained lackluster. The FTSE 100 in Britain was up by 0.2%, but the CAC-40 in France was down by 0.1% and the DAX in Germany was off by 0.1%. In the U.S., the futures on the Dow and the S&P 500 were up by 0.1%.

The Tokyo Stock exchange barometer the Nikkei 225 closed off 2% as the yen pulled from its weakness versus the dollar over recent days, which causes a negative for stocks related to exporting.

In addition, negative sentiment was the manufacturing survey from China that was less than positive and showed that output in factories was up by a lower rate during January compared to December. The survey was released over the weekend and followed the survey from HSBC that showed manufacturing in China had contracted in January.

Markets were not open in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Taiwan for the Lunar New Year. The Kospi in Seoul fell 1.1%. Amongst, the markets in Asia that were open, only the Thailand markets posted gains following a national election on Sunday that did not experience any violence.

The financial markets across several emerging economies including Argentina and Turkey have been hit hard recently on concerns that their growth would slow and money would leave their economies as the Federal Reserve in the U.S. tightens the stimulus monetary policy. In turn, that has hit many stock markets, which had been ripe for pullbacks after huge gains throughout 2013.

Jitters over emerging markets were the focus for many investors, which in turn fueled the purchase of yen, which was viewed as a safe haven asset and that helped to send stocks lower.

On Friday, Wall Street saw the Dow Jones fall 149 points, the S&P 500 11 points and the Nasdaq 19 points.

U.S. Crude for delivery in March was off by 51 cents per barrel to $96.98 in New York Mercantile trading. The contract had dropped 74 cents to end Friday at $97.49.