Business

Global markets turn lower as 2018 trading gets underway

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

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BEIJING (AP) — Stock markets turned lower in European hours on Tuesday, the first day of trading in 2018, as investors looked ahead to whether the record-setting equity run will last.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX fell 0.8 per cent to 12,819 and France's CAC 40 shed 0.6 per cent to 5,279. London's FTSE 100 retreated 0.5 per cent to 7,650, coming off a record high it hit last week. On Wall Street, futures for the Dow Jones industrial average were flat, while those for the Standard & Poor's 500 were up 0.3 per cent.

NEW YEAR: Investors are gauging whether 2018 might be as good for stocks as 2017, when many indexes hit record highs. US stocks last year turned in their strongest annual performance since 2013. “Question in 2018 is what it will take for more of the same,” analysts from Mizuho Bank said in a report to investors. They described the stock gains as “getting long in the tooth”.

ASIA'S DAY: Markets were more upbeat earlier in Asia on the back of some strong economic reports. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.2 per cent to 3,348.33 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 2 per cent to 30,515.31. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. Seoul's Kospi gained 0.5 per cent to 2,479.65 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 lost four points to 6,061.30. India's Sensex shed 0.1 per cent to 33,775.00.

CHINA MANUFACTURING: A survey by Chinese business magazine Caixin found manufacturing activity in December accelerated by its biggest margin in four months. The magazine's purchasing managers' index rose to 51.5 points from November's 50.8 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show activity improving. In India, a similar survey showed manufacturing activity accelerated to a five-year high in December. The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, compiled by IHS Markit, rose to 54.7 from November's 52.6. “Prospects for local manufacturers look bright over the near term,” Shilan Shah of Capital Economics said in a report.

ENERGY: Benchmark US crude rose 1 cent to US$60.43 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 48 cents on Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, also advanced 1 cent, to US$66.88 in London. It rose 71 cents the previous session.

CURRENCY: The dollar was lower across the board, declining to 112.14 yen from 112.68 on Friday. The euro rose to US$1.2066 from US$1.2009.

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