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US stock futures flat after China GDP miss; bonds retreat

Global stocks largely down as China GDP logs weakest growth in nearly 3 decades.

➤ Germany lowers 2020 GDP forecast, but rules out crisis fears.

➤ Lira advances after Turkey agrees to Syria ceasefire.

➤ Bonds, gold retreat.

U.S. stock futures were little changed, while global stocks largely dropped, as Chinese GDP growth hit a near 30-year low and the earnings cycle continued.

The S&P 500 futures were nearly flat around 6:30 a.m. ET. Coca-Cola Co. reported results Oct. 18.

In Europe, the wider Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.1% with Renault SA slumping 11.8% and Danone SA dropping 8.1% following their earnings. Elsewhere, the FTSE 100 fell 0.2% though London Stock Exchange Group PLC shares rose 1.2% following its earnings.

France's CAC 40 shed 0.4% while Germany's DAX was marginally up.

In Asia, the Shanghai SE Composite sank 1.3% as data showed the Chinese economy registered the weakest growth in nearly three decades. GDP expanded 6.0% year over year in the third quarter.

China data shows that trade disputes with the U.S. have hit the economy and emphasizes the need for a trade truce, wrote Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at the London Capital Group.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.5% and Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.2%. Tokyo tightened rules for foreign investors seeking to buy stakes in defense, nuclear power, utilities and telecommunications companies.

Sergi Lanau, the deputy chief economist of the Institute of International Finance, said an imminent recession for the U.S. and other major economies is unlikely at this point despite ongoing concerns about U.S.-China trade tensions.

In currencies, sterling ticked 0.1% higher versus the dollar. The U.K. Parliament will convene tomorrow to vote on the Brexit deal reached between the U.K. and EU on Oct. 17, but with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party not on board, there is uncertainty about the fate of the deal.

If the vote fails, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson could call a general election but an approval would contain volatility for the pound, wrote Lee Hardman and Fritz Louw, currency analysts at MUFG Bank.

A smooth Brexit could pave way for interest rate hikes, Bank of England's Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden said in a Bloomberg interview.

The Turkish Lira jumped 0.7% against the dollar. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Washington would not impose additional sanctions on Turkey as the country agreed to halt its military offensive in northern Syria. Pence added that recent sanctions on Turkey would be removed once the ceasefire becomes permanent.

The Chinese yuan lost 0.1% against the dollar while the Japanese yen was little changed as data showed the country's annual core inflation fell further below the Bank of Japan's 2% target to a 29-month low of 0.3% in September.

The euro was little changed.

The dollar index was nearly flat and 10-year Treasury yields rose 1 basis point ahead of speeches from Federal Reserve members, including Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida. With market largely expecting a rate cut at the Fed's October meeting, any hint from Clarida that "the Fed is finished with rate cuts" could send yields higher, analysts at TD Securities wrote.

In other bonds, U.K. 10-year Gilt yields gained 5 basis points to 0.726%. The yield on German Bunds with the same maturity added 2 basis points to negative 0.382%. Germany lowered its growth forecast for 2020 to 1% from 1.5% in its latest projection.

Among commodities, Brent crude oil gained 0.3% to $60.08 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange. Gold dipped 0.4%.

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The day ahead:

9 a.m. ET – U.S. Fed's Robert Kaplan speaks

10 a.m. ET – U.S. Fed's Esther George speaks

10 a.m. ET – Kaplan speaks

10 a.m. ET – U.S. Leading Indicators (Econoday consensus: 0.2% monthly)

10:30 a.m. ET – U.S. Fed's Neel Kashkari speaks

11:30 a.m. ET – U.S. Fed's Richard Clarida speaks

1 pm. ET – U.S. Baker-Hughes Rig Count

5:10 p.m. ET – Kaplan speaks