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Global shares make modest gains, capped by worries over China, falling oil prices

TOKYO – Shares in Europe made modest gains Tuesday as Asia recovered from an overnight drop in oil prices and a sell-off in Shanghai.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX rose 0.9 per cent to 10,746.55 while France’s CAC 40 also rose 0.9 per cent to 4,658.51. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged 0.4 per cent higher to 6,257.15. Wall Street looked set to reverse Monday’s losses, with both Dow and S&P futures up 0.3 per cent.

THE QUOTE: “Asian markets have looked past the wobble in oil prices and Chinese data yesterday to push tentatively into the green,” Angus Nicholson of IG said in a market note. “However, volumes are very low throughout the region, even lower than the pre-Christmas trade last week, so it is difficult to read too much into them.”

ENERGY: Monday’s news that Iran intends to increase exports by 500,000 barrels per day once economic sanctions are removed deepened concern over excess global supplies, pushing prices 3.4 per cent lower. But on Tuesday, benchmark U.S. crude rose 16 cents to $36.97 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, also gained 16 cents, to $36.78 a barrel.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index rose 0.6 per cent to 18,982.23 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.3 per cent to 21,988.24. South Korea’s Kospi was 0.1 per cent higher at 1,966.31 and the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.9 per cent to 3,563.74. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.2 per cent to 5,267.30. Shares in New Zealand were higher, Taiwan fell and Southeast Asian shares were mostly higher.

CURRENCIES: The dollar was slightly higher at 120.37 yen, up from 120.26 on Monday. The euro slipped to $1.0977 from $1.0985 in the previous session.

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