A man walks past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a bank in Hong Kong, Tuesday, July 31, 2018. Asian markets were mixed on Tuesday with narrow trading ahead of a key statement by the Bank of Japan, which could indicate a tightening of its monetary policy. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

World stocks lose shine after weaker European, Chinese data

July 31, 2018 - 6:36 am

SINGAPORE (AP) — World stock markets lost some of their gains Tuesday after economic releases for China and the 19-country eurozone showed a small slowdown amid concerns about U.S. tariffs.

KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.6 percent to 7,745 while Germany's DAX fell almost 0.1 percent to 12,792. France's CAC 40 rose 0.1 percent to 5,495. Wall Street was set for a subdued open, with Dow futures up 0.1 percent and S&P 500 futures 0.2 percent higher.

ASIA'S DAY: Markets were mostly higher after the Bank of Japan largely maintained the status quo while allowing some flexibility to achieve yield targets. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose less than 0.1 percent to 22,553.72 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.1 percent to 2,295.26. The Shanghai Composite index gained 0.3 percent to 2,876.40. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index bucked the regional trend, falling 0.5 percent to 28,583.01. Australia's S&P ASX 200 added less than 0.1 percent to 6,280.20.

BOJ MEETING: In a widely watched statement, the Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy steady as expected. It maintained its target for the 10-year government bond yield at around zero percent and that for short-term interest rates at minus 0.1 percent. The bank said yields will be allowed to move up or down "to some extent mainly depending on developments in economic activity and prices." Sustained relatively strong growth had raised expectations that the central bank may need to consider further tempering its massive purchases of government bonds and other assets.

ECONOMIC DATA: China's manufacturing activity pulled back slightly in July. The official manufacturing purchasing managers' index was 51.2 in July, down from 51.5 a month earlier. Readings above 50 indicate expansion on the index's 100-point scale. Although new export orders were stable, they came in at just below the neutral level for the second month. In Europe, the eurozone's quarterly economic growth slowed to 0.3 percent from 0.4 percent as business confidence took a hit from the trade tensions. Since then, the EU and U.S. have agreed to hold off more tariffs and try to free up trade, though the outlines of the deal remain hazy.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 37 cents to $69.76 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 2.1 percent to settle at $70.13 per barrel on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 7 cents to $74.90.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.45 yen from 111.00. The euro ticked up to $1.1740 from $1.1710.

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