Global shares were mixed on Monday, with Asian markets cheered by the latest rally on Wall Street and relative quiet in U.S. politics while benchmarks in Europe mostly drifted lower in early trading.
KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC was down 0.1 percent in early trading at 5,317.51. Germany’s DAX also slipped 0.1 percent, to 12,622.87. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent to 7,491.61. U.S. shares were set to be little changed, with Dow futures inching up less than 0.1 percent to 20,794. S&P 500 futures were unchanged at 2,381.40.
MARKET WORRIES: Among the global developments adding to investor fears are the various controversies swirling around the Trump administration. But news was relatively quiet over the weekend as Trump visited Saudi Arabia, getting a reprieve from the controversies that have marred his young presidency. Trump will travel on to Israel and Europe and attend a summit of the Group of Seven nations.
NORTH KOREA: North Korea’s latest missile test, on Sunday, was a solid-fuel ballistic missile that can be harder for outsiders to detect before launch. The official Korean Central News Agency confirmed Monday the missile was a Pukguksong-2, a land-based version of a submarine-launched missile. The missile fell into the sea and generated scant reaction in markets.
THE QUOTE: ”North Korea conducted a missile test on Sunday, but it is not expected to cause much financial market impact as both the U.S. and South Korea have been restrained in their reactions,” said Zhu Huani, an analyst at Mizuho Bank in Singapore.
JAPAN TRADE: Shares in Japan were buoyed by strong trade data that was largely in line with expectations, given recent gains in exports. Exports rose 7.5 percent in April from a year earlier though the trade surplus fell as higher oil prices pushed imports 15 percent higher. Exports to China jumped 15 percent. Trade with other major Asian markets such as South Korea and Taiwan has recovered recently, helping drive stronger growth in Japan.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.5 percent to finish at 19,678.28. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.8 percent to 5,771.20. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 0.7 percent to 2,304.03. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng surged 0.9 percent to 25,391.34, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.5 percent to 3,075.68. Southeast Asian markets were mostly higher.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 39 cents to $51.06 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 31 cents to $53.92 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: In currency trading, the dollar fell to 111.17 yen from 111.39 yen late Friday in Asia. The euro edged up to $1.1175 from $1.1139.