Global stocks lower after Wall Street snaps winning streak

BEIJING, China – Global stock markets were mostly lower Friday after Wall Street broke a three-day winning streak and declined.

KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, Germany’s DAX fell 0.4 per cent to 10,389.42 points and France’s CAC 40 shed 0.2 per cent to 4,573.38. Britain’s FTSE 100 was off 0.7 per cent at 6,336.96. On Thursday, the DAX gained 0.2 per cent while the CAC 40 was off 0.1 per cent and the FTSE 100 lost 0.2 per cent. Wall Street’s outlook was mixed, with the future for the Dow Jones industrial average off 0.1 per cent and that for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index up 0.2 per cent.

ASIA’S DAY: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.7 per cent to 21,467.04 while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2 per cent to 2,959.24. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.2 per cent to 17,572.49. Seoul’s Kospi retreated 0.3 per cent to 2,015.49 and Sydney’s S&P ASX 200 lost 0.7 per cent to 5,236.40. India’s Sensex was off 0.1 per cent at 25,844.89. Benchmarks in Malaysia and Indonesia gained while New Zealand and Singapore declined.

WALL STREET: Investors sold traditional safe-play stocks such as phone companies and utilities as they pored over earnings for clues about the trajectory of the U.S. economy. Analysts say companies are struggling to meet profit expectations. General Motors rose 1.5 per cent after its profit more than doubled while Mattel fell 5.8 per cent on disappointing sales of Barbie dolls. The Dow lost 0.6 per cent and the S&P shed 0.5 per cent. The Nasdaq composite index lost 0.1 per cent.

ANALYST’S TAKE: With little improvement in the U.S. economy and the S&P close to its all-time high, “some retreat is needed for bullishness to sustain,” Bernard Aw of IG said in a report. “Having said that, the lack of a strong improvement in the economic outlook raises questions whether the stock rally will go on. In my view, equities may find it difficult to push higher from recent levels.”

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 43 cents to $43.60 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1 on Thursday to close at $43.18. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 23 cents to $44.75 in London. It fell $1.27 the previous session to $44.53.

CURRENCY: The dollar advanced to 110.33 yen from Thursday’s 109.44 yen. The euro declined to $1.1281 from $1.1293.