World stocks mixed after retreat on Wall Street over poor corporate earnings

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MANILA, Philippines – World stocks traded mixed Friday, with a patchy performance in Asia and early gains in Europe and U.S. futures a day after losses on Wall Street.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.1 per cent lower at 15,734.46. China’s Shanghai Composite index sank 0.9 per cent to 2,004.95, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.6 per cent to 23,133.35 after slipping in early trading. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 fell 0.6 per cent to 5,305.90. South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.7 per cent at 1,944.48, while most Southeast Asian markets finished higher.

A day after eking out their first record high of 2014, the U.S. markets lost ground Thursday as electronics retailer Best Buy, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, and railroad CSX had disappointing earnings news. Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped 0.1 per cent to 1,845.89, retreating from the all-time high it hit the day before.

In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 inched up 0.1 per cent to 6,819.92. France’s CAC-40 rose 0.1 per cent to 4,322.60, while Germany’s DAX gained 0.3 per cent to 9,741.62.

U.S. futures gained on Wall Street, with Dow Jones industrial futures up 0.1 per cent at 16,335. S&P 500 futures rose 0.1 per cent to 1,837.20.

Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG in Melbourne, Australia, said market performance in Asia was a follow-through from the pullback in U.S. markets.

“It is a situation whereby U.S. markets have rallied to record highs — the S&P that is — just a couple of days ago, then of course investors will get a little bit nervous at high levels,” he said. “I think they’d really like to see the earnings come out just to back up the theory that the U.S. markets are on the mend and is in a much better place now.”

He said earnings reports of other big companies were expected later Friday, giving “some investors a reason to stay out of the market and just keep a close eye on the situation” heading into the weekend.

Benchmark crude for February delivery rose 47 cents to $94.43 in electronic trading on the New York Merchantile Exchange. The contract fell 21 cents to settle at $93.96 on Thursday.

In currencies, the euro fell to $1.3601 from $1.3615 late Thursday. The dollar fell to 104.33 yen from 104.39 yen.

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