MANILA, Philippines – European shares were mixed Thursday despite a second day of strong gains in Asia, where investors were encouraged by an uptick in China’s trade and Singapore’s surprise easing of monetary policy.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX added 0.2 per cent to 10,046.12. Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.3 per cent to 6,343.38. France’s CAC 40 slid 0.2 per cent to 4,480.18. U.S. futures augured subdued trading on Wall Street, with both Dow and S&P 500 futures down 0.2 per cent.
SINGAPORE: Highly trade-dependent Singapore implemented an “zero per cent appreciation” policy for its currency after economic growth was flat in the first quarter of the year. The step toward monetary easing suspended a policy of allowing the Singapore dollar to gradually appreciate.
THE QUOTE: “There is an air of disbelief from all parts of the market. Many are having to remind themselves that the S&P 500 and Dow Jones are just 2.4 per cent from taking out the 19 May 2015 all-time high,” Chris Weston of IG said in a commentary. “Throw in an improving China picture and signs that monetary easing and fiscal policy are having an effect results in a daily chart that look like a breakout trader’s dream on many markets.”
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 closed 3.2 per cent higher at 16,911.05, as the yen slightly weakened against the dollar. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.9 per cent to 21,337.81 while the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.5 per cent at 3,082.36. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.2 per cent to 5,117.70. South Korea’s KOSPI climbed 1.8 per cent to 2,015.93. Southeast Asian markets were mixed, while markets in Thailand and India were closed for holidays.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 11 cents to $41.66 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 41 cents to $41.76 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 13 cents to $44.05.
CURRENCIES: The euro fell to $1.1259 from $1.1275 on Wednesday. The dollar fell to 109.21 from 109.43 yen.