Most Asian, European markets down after Wall Street gains
BEIJING — Global stock markets were mostly lower Thursday after Wall Street gained on expectations U.S. interest rates will stay low.
KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, France’s CAC-40 was off 1.3 per cent at 4,387.89 points and Germany’s DAX retreated 0.8 per cent to 9,969.20. London’s FTSE 100 shed 0.8 per cent to 6,150.56. On Wednesday, the DAX gained 2.1 per cent, the CAC 40 rose 2.3 per cent and the FTSE 100 added 1.8 per cent. On Wall Street, futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index were down 0.1 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively.
ASIA’S DAY: Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.7 per cent to 16,758.67 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng retreated 0.1 per cent to 20,776.70. Seoul’s Kospi shed 0.3 per cent to 1,995.85 and Singapore, Bangkok and Manila also declined. The Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.1 per cent to 3,003.92 and India’s Sensex gained 0.3 per cent to 25,405.28. New Zealand and Jakarta also rose.
U.S. INTEREST RATES: Traders were encouraged by U.S. Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen’s comments affirming plans to move slowly in raising rates. Analysts noted Yellen repeated previous statements they said still allow for rate hikes. “Global markets will probably still have to contend with more Fed tightening this year,” Julian Jessop of Capital Economics said in a report. But traders were reassured following suggestions by other Fed officials in favour of considering earlier rate hikes.
ANALYST’S QUOTE: “How long is this rebound going to last? No one can really give an answer at the moment; but one thing for sure is that Yellen’s re-affirmed dovish stance gave the market sufficient comfort and room to breathe,” Margaret Yang Yan of CMC Markets said in a report. “The chance of an April rate hike has diminished, and whether or not a June hike will materialize has now become more questionable.”
WALL STREET: Stocks rose Wednesday as technology companies traded higher and consumer companies gained steam. The financial sector recovered some of its losses. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 83.55 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 17,716.66. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 8.94 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 2,063.95. The Nasdaq composite index added 22.67 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 4,869.29.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 72 cents to $37.60 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 4 cents on Wednesday to close at $38.32. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 47 cents to $39.58 in London. It advanced 20 cents on Wednesday to $40.05.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.43 yen from Wednesday’s 112.35 yen. The euro edged up to $1.1348 from $1.1335.
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