Stocks mostly rose on Monday as investors awaited more corporate earnings reports. Japan’s Nikkei index, however, sagged as a surge in the yen against the dollar weighed on exporters.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX gained 0.3 percent to 12,199 and the CAC 40 of France added 0.1 percent to 5,136. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent to 7,390. Dow futures gained 0.2 percent and S&P 500 futures edged 0.1 percent higher, auguring an upbeat start for the week on Wall Street.
EARNINGS WATCH: Earnings results from a little more than half of the companies in the S&P 500 have been published and most have been encouraging. Investors are keeping an eye out this week for more reports in Europe and Asia, where in Japan some 350 companies released results on Monday alone.
ANALYST COMMENT: ”With 57 percent of the companies on the comprehensive S&P 500 index reported so far, it is unavoidable for us to discuss earnings performances. On a broad level we have seen both sales and earnings surprise largely match up to the strong Q1 performance, keeping the markets going,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary. ”The new week brings another one-fourth of the companies on the S&P 500 index which could see the focus slightly moderate and shift toward earnings here in Asia instead.”
CHINA FACTORY DATA: A manufacturing survey showed Chinese factory activity eased in July as demand for exports weakened. The monthly purchasing managers’ index released Monday slipped to 51.4 last month from 51.7 in the previous month. The reading is based on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate expansion. It was still the 12th straight month that factories reported expansion, according to the data compiled by the Federation of Logistics & Purchasing posted on China’s official statistics website.
NORTH KOREA: The United States flew two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula on Sunday in a show of force against North Korea following an intercontinental ballistic missile test late Friday. The U.S. also said it conducted a successful test of a missile defense system located in Alaska. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said spoke with President Donald Trump and agreed to take further action against North Korea. Tensions over North Korea helped push the Japanese yen, viewed as a ”safe haven” currency, sharply higher against the U.S. dollar, hurting exporters’ shares.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.2 percent to 19,925.18 and the Kospi in South Korea was flat at 2,402.71. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 1.3 percent to 27,323.99 and the Shanghai Composite index climbed 0.6 percent to 3,273.03. The S&P ASX 200 of Australia gained 0.3 percent to 5,720.60 and India’s Sensex added 0.6 percent to 32,485.48. Shares in Southeast Asia were mostly lower.
ENERGY: The price of oil was steady after capping its best week since early December last week, when it gained 9 percent. Benchmark U.S. crude was flat at $49.71 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It climbed 67 cents Friday to settle at $49.71 per barrel and touched its highest level since May. Brent crude, the international standard, added 7 cents to $52.59 per barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 110.58 Japanese yen from 110.67 yen on Friday. The euro slipped to $1.1728 from $1.1756, and the British pound dropped to $1.3118 from $1.3135.