* German exports slump
* ECB disappointment lingers
* Fed's Brainard catches attention
By Jamie McGeever
LONDON, Sept 9 European stocks fell and bond
yields rose on Friday, driven by German trade figures that cast
doubt on the strength of the euro zone's largest economy and
lingering disappointment after the European Central Bank's
policy meeting the previous day.
German exports fell sharply in July, shrinking the overall
trade surplus for the fourth consecutive month -- something not
seen since 1992 -- and putting the continent's benchmark stock
index on course for its first weekly fall in three.
The nervy tone was set earlier in the day when Asian markets
extended losses after North Korea conducted its fifth and most
powerful nuclear test, while investors are keenly awaiting a
speech on Monday by U.S. Federal Reserve policymaker Lael
Europe's FTSEuroFirst 300 index of leading shares was down
0.4 percent at 1,368 points, dragging it down 0.7
percent on the week. The Stoxx 600 index was also down
Germany's DAX fell 0.3 percent, France's CAC 40
lost 0.5 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 was down
0.3 percent, while U.S. futures pointed to a fall of around 0.3
percent at the open on Wall Street .
"The month of July was clearly not a good month for
Germany," ING economist Carsten Brzeski said.
"A further cooling of the economy in the months ahead should
give more support to just-started discussions about fiscal
On Thursday, ECB President Mario Draghi, speaking after the
central bank kept policy on hold as expected, said the ECB was
looking at options to continue its money-printing programme, but
maintained the March end-date for asset purchases.
That disappointed investors who were looking for more
immediate action, including an extension or expansion of the
current plan, or at least clearer hints of future actions.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
dropped 1.1 percent, its biggest fall in over a
month, after touching a 13-month high on Thursday. The decline
shrank gains for the week to 2 percent.
Japan's Nikkei closed flat after pulling back
earlier on reports of the North Korean nuclear test
. It was up 0.2 percent for the week.
Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 lost 0.22
percent, weighed down by a 2.6 percent fall in Apple on
disappointment over its latest iPhone, though gains in energy
shares offset losses in most other sectors.
European bond markets remained under pressure following the
ECB meeting, with the 10-year German Bund yield
rising around 5 basis points to minus 0.014 percent, its highest
since July. It was minus 0.125 percent earlier this week.
U.S. bond yields also hovered around their highs of the
week, with the 10-year bond yield rising as high as
The U.S. yield curve reached its steepest level in three
weeks at 85 basis points. That means the 10-year yield was 85
basis points higher than the two-year yield, a move driven by
the jump in longer-dated borrowing costs.
It was reported late on Thursday that Fed Governor Lael
Brainard will make a speech on the U.S. economy on Monday, just
before the blackout period for Fed officials before the Sept.
20-21 policy meeting comes into effect.
Analysts agreed that this late addition to the Fed's
schedule was significant, but were split on how. Will Brainard
maintain her dovish stance on policy, or signal a hawkish shift
that could pave the way for a rate hike later in the month?
"As a dovish member (of the Fed's policymaking committee),
Brainard would carry a lot of credibility delivering a more
hawkish message," said Deutsche Bank's Peter Hooper, raising his
odds of a September rate hike to 50 percent from 40 percent.
In currency markets the euro was up 0.1 percent on
the day at $1.1260, and the dollar fell 0.2 percent to 102.70
Oil prices pulled back after surging more than 4 percent on
Thursday to two-week highs on a slump in U.S. Gulf Coast imports
to a record low led to a surprisingly large drawdown in U.S.
Brent pulled back 1.5 percent to $49.26, still up 5
percent this week, and U.S. crude retreated 1.4 percent
Gold was last at $1,334 an ounce, down 0.3 percent on
the day but still up 0.7 percent this week, the biggest weekly
gain in six weeks.
(Editing by Catherine Evans and Robin Pomeroy)