European stocks mixed after Asia falls; Tokyo down 3 per cent

SEOUL, South Korea – European shares were mostly higher Monday despite a weak start for the week in Asia, where the Tokyo benchmark fell more than 3 per cent as investors registered their disappointment over the lack of fresh stimulus from Japan’s central bank.

KEEPING SCORE: Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 1.3 per cent to 6,241.89 while Germany’s DAX rose 1 per cent to 10,137.67. France’s CAC 40 added 0.5 per cent to 4,448.89. Wall Street looked set for an upbeat day, with Dow and S&P 500 futures both up 0.2 per cent.

JAPAN’S MALAISE: The Bank of Japan’s policy meeting on Thursday foiled expectations it might act to shore up flagging growth. Japan’s markets were closed Friday for a national holiday, and with Monday’s open came further disappointment with monthly survey of purchasing managers showing a sharp deterioration in manufacturing conditions. The rise in the Japanese yen to nearly 105 yen to the dollar, meanwhile, is hurting exporters, whose overseas profits tend to gain in yen terms when the yen is weaker.

ANALYST’S TAKE: “While lingering disappointment from the Bank of Japan’s inaction continues to weigh on Japanese markets, negative sentiment started filtering through to other global markets and this ripple effect should be closely monitored,” said Stephen Innes, a senior foreign exchange trader at OANDA.

ASIA SCORECARD: Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 slumped 3.1 per cent to 16,147.38, while South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.8 per cent to 1,978.15. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.1 per cent to 5,312.00. Stocks in the Philippines and Indonesia were also lower. Markets in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taiwan and Singapore were closed for a public holiday.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 39 cents to $45.52 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 11 cents on Friday to close at $45.92. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 58 cents to $46.79 in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 106.39 yen from 106.36 yen while the euro strengthened to $1.1485 from $1.1447.