Asian shares mixed after weak US earnings

<p>Weak US earnings sparked fears over the health of the world’s largest economy.</p>

Asian stocks ended mixed today (May 1st) in thin trading, led by a lower session on Wall Street overnight after the release of weak US earnings. Investors also reacted to a string of economic data from the US and China. Trading volumes were light as most markets in the region are closed for the Labor Day holiday.

Companies in the S&P 500 are forecast to report average growth in earnings per share of just 0.6 per cent for the first quarter, according to data from S&P Capital IQ. That compares with a growth rate of 7.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014.The weak US earnings and a weak first quarter growth sparked fears over the health of the world's largest economy.

China's official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) held steady at 50.1 in April, while the official services PMI fell to 53.4, from 53.7 in the previous month.

Japan's Nikkei 225 edged up 0.1 per cent at 19,531.63 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.4 per cent to 5,814.40. New Zealand's benchmark gained 0.1 per cent to 6,205.13.

Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

GAIN Capital UK Limited (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.