Global stocks edge higher as markets await US economic data
Global stocks mostly rose Monday, despite subdued growth figures for Japan, as investors looked ahead to U.S. economic data this week as well as the minutes to the Federal Reserve’s last meeting.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX was up 0.5 percent to 10,764 while the CAC 40 of France climbed 0.1 percent to 4,506. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.2 percent to 6,932. Much business in Europe was closed for the Assumption holiday, though market trading remained open. Wall Street appeared poised for gains, with Dow and S&P futures both up 0.2 percent.
JAPAN STAGNATES: Japan’s economy grew at a lower-than-forecast 0.2 percent pace in the April-June quarter, as private demand and exports remained weak. On a quarterly basis, growth for the world’s third-largest economy was flat, adding to pressure on the Bank of Japan to take further action to stimulate slack corporate and consumer spending.
US IN FOCUS: Investors will look ahead to U.S. reports due for inflation, manufacturing and housing. The minutes to the Fed’s last meeting will also be scrutinized for hints about a possible interest rate increase next month. The “minutes are likely to highlight that while the door was left open for a September rate move, this was anything but a commitment,” said Marc Ostwald, analyst at ADM Investor Services.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 edged 0.3 percent lower Monday to 16,869.56 after the government reported weaker-than-expected economic data. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.7 percent to 22,932.51 and Australia’s S&P ASX 200 added 0.2 percent to 5,540.00. The Shanghai Composite index advanced 2.4 percent to 3,125.20 and markets in Southeast Asia were mixed. Markets in South Korea and India were closed for holidays.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 14 cents to $44.63 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained $1 on Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 10 cents to $47.07 a barrel, after gaining 93 cents on Friday.
CURRENCIES: In currency markets, the dollar weakened to 101.09 yen from 101.29 yen on Friday. The euro rose to $1.1171 from $1.1165.