TOKYO – European shares were mixed Friday following an attack in Nice, France, despite a strong day in Asia. China reported steady economic growth in the second quarter of the year, suggesting measures to counter the slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy may be paying off.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX rose 0.1 per cent to 10,075.55 while the CAC 40 of France lost 0.2 per cent to 4,377.33. The FTSE 100 lost 0.1 per cent to 6,647.18. Wall Street looked set for a slow start with S&P futures down 0.1 per cent and Dow futures nearly unchanged.
TRUCK ATTACK IN FRANCE: A large truck mowed through revelers gathered for Bastille Day fireworks in Nice, killing at least 84 people and sending people fleeing into the sea as it bore down for more than a mile along the Riviera city’s famed waterfront promenade. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the rampage, which followed attacks in November in Paris that killed 130 and in January 2015 that killed 17.
CHINA DATA: China reported its economy expanded at a steady 6.7 per cent pace in April-June, as recovering spending on construction by state-owned companies helped compensate for weak private sector demand.
ANALYST’S VIEW: “While China is almost certainly expanding at a slower rate than its GDP data suggest, rapid state sector investment does appear to have kept growth broadly stable last quarter,” Mark Williams and Daniel Martin of Capital Economics said in a commentary. “In other words, while policy easing over the past year has so far failed to a drive a rebound, today’s figures suggest that it has at least put a floor underneath growth.”
LINE IPO: Japanese messaging app Line jumped about 32 per cent above its IPO price of 3,300 yen in its debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, following its initial public offering in New York, as investors cashed in on the popular Japanese messaging app that features emoticons. Line surged 27 per cent on Thursday, its first day of trading in New York, a gain of $8.74 to $41.58. The company has more users than Facebook or Twitter in Japan.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.7 per cent to 16,497.85 as the yen weakened against the dollar. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong climbed 0.5 per cent to 21,659.25 and South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.4 per cent to 2,017.26. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.3 per cent at 5,429.60. The Shanghai Composite index ended nearly flat at 3,054.30. Shares in Southeast Asia were higher.
CURRENCIES: The British pound rose to $1.3402 from $1.3345 a day earlier. The euro rose to $1.1144 from $1.1110 and the dollar rose to 105.96 yen from 105.26 yen.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 48 cents to $45.20 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 93 cents to $45.68 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, a standard for international oil prices, fell 51 cents to $46.86 a barrel. It rose $1.11 to close at $47.37 a barrel in London.