World stock markets were mixed on Friday as oil prices stabilized and investors assessed Beijing’s moves to tighten up on some Chinese companies as well as the latest survey on eurozone economic growth.
KEEPING SCORE: European shares fell in early trading. France’s CAC 40 shed 0.3 percent to 5,266.34 and Germany’s DAX lost 0.3 percent to 12,761.29. Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.3 percent to 7,418.06. Wall Street was poised to open higher, with Dow futures up 0.1 percent to 21,368.00 and broader S&P 500 futures rising 0.1 percent to 2,435.30.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index finished 0.1 percent higher at 20,132.67 and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.4 percent to 2,378.60. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was practically unchanged at 25,670.05 while the Shanghai Composite in mainland China swung between gains and losses before ending 0.3 percent higher at 3,157.87. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 crept up 0.2 percent to 5,715.90.
EBBING ENERGY: Crude oil’s extended decline this week and the effect it is having on broader financial markets weighed on investor sentiment and dragged down energy shares. Crude prices rose on Thursday for the first time in four days but prices are still near their lowest level since August. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 24 cents to $42.98 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 21 cents to settle at $42.74 per barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, the international standard, added 20 cents to $45.42 per barrel.
QUOTEWORTHY: ”Falling oil prices continue to temper sentiment in global macro markets,” said Stephen Innes, senior trader at OANDA. ”While the Nervous Nellies take solace as oil prices based overnight, don’t get too comfortable as the oil patch narrative will likely be the primary catalyst in the coming months.”
CHINA CLAMPDOWN: Mainland shares fluctuated as officials tightened up on some companies. Authorities ordered three popular internet services, including Sina Weibo, to stop streaming video after they violated censorship rules on sensitive issues. Adding to the pessimism, reports in the South China Morning Post newspaper and financial magazine Caixin on Thursday said the banking regulator is tightening up scrutiny of companies behind a wave of recent overseas acquisitions by ordering banks to check credit-risk exposure to Wanda, Fosun, Anbang and HNA.
EUROPEAN GROWTH: A monthly survey revealed that economic activity in the 19-country Eurozone slipped to a five-month low in June. However, the IHS Markit composite purchasing managers’ index remained well into positive territory, with job creation and business confidence still strong.
MEDICAL SHARES: U.S. health care stocks rallied after the Senate unveiled its proposal to revamp how Americans get medical care. Investors were betting that overseas companies could also benefit from the bill, with Australian bionic ear maker Cochlear up 1.1 percent and blood plasma maker CSL up 1.7 percent.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 111.24 yen from 111.32 yen in late trading Thursday. The euro rose to $1.1181 from $1.1154.