Marketmind: Markets Get Twitchy as Debt Ceiling, Growth Fears Weigh

Ankur Banerjee gives us a look at what the future holds for European and global markets

Investors have been hesitant and cautious all week, and Friday was no exception. Signs of a global economic slowdown, the lingering concerns over the U.S. Debt Ceiling and the ever-present fears of a deepening crisis in the banking sector has kept them on edge.

The MSCI Asia ex Japan index fell 0.5%. Japan's Nikkei, however, was the exception as it always has been, and rose 0.8% for the day. The U.S. Dollar was holding onto Thursday's gains and set to end a two week losing streak. Gold prices remained stable, while oil prices rose due to short-covering.

Investors will be watching a number of economic reports out of Europe. The British Gross Domestic Product data is likely to influence the fate of sterling. The pound is still reeling after a plunge on Thursday, when the Bank of England increased interest rates.

The inflation reports for France and Spain will also be on display, highlighting the impact of European tightening on the prices in the area.

The data in U.S. showed that the labour market may be showing cracks. However, inflation has eased slightly, which led traders to believe that the Federal Reserve will likely be done tightening.

The national debt issue continues to be a concern. Next week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will discuss the impasse regarding raising the debt ceiling of the government with members of the Bank Policy Institute lobbying group.

Investors are now more concerned after a meeting between Joe Biden, President of the United States and lawmakers was postponed. If the federal government's ceiling isn't raised, it could run out money by June 1, which would be in just two and a quarter weeks.

The regional banking crisis in the United States is not going away. PacWest Bancorp, a Los Angeles-based lender, was the latest to be criticized by investors after it reported that deposits had declined and posted additional collateral to the Fed for liquidity.

The bank stated that "the news headlines have increased the fear of our customers about the safety of their deposit."

It looks like Twitter is about to get a new chief executive. Elon Musk announced (on Twitter) that he had found a new CEO for the social media website, but did no name the person. The Wall Street Journal reported, however, that Comcast NBCUniversal executive Linda Yaccarino is in negotiations for the position.