Global stocks mostly up as trade, Syria uncertainties ease - InfoNews

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Global stocks mostly up as trade, Syria uncertainties ease

A currency trader watches the computer monitors near the screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, April 13, 2018. Asian stock markets were mostly higher Friday following overnight gains on Wall Street. Risk sentiment returned as the U.S. explores the possibility of returning to trade talks with 11 countries and clarifies that it is consulting allies before making a final decision on possible military strikes against Syria. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
April 13, 2018 - 2:46 AM

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - Global stock markets were mostly higher Friday investor appetite for risk returned after the U.S. said it was exploring the possibility of returning to trade talks with 11 Pacific countries. Sentiment also improved as the U.S. said it is consulting allies before making a final decision on possible military strikes against Syria.

KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 7,256.35 in early trading while France's CAC 40 rose 0.2 per cent to 5,320.74 and Germany's DAX gained 0.5 per cent to 12,472.06. Futures augured a tepid start on Wall Street with S&P futures up 0.1 per cent and Dow futures also up 0.1 per cent.

ASIA'S DAY: Asian markets finished higher. Nikkei 225 rose 0.6 per cent to 21,778.74. South Korea's Kospi advanced 0.5 per cent to 2,455.07. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index edged down 0.1 per cent to finish at 30,808.38. China's Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.7 per cent to 3,159.05. Australia's S&P/ASX200 rose 0.2 per cent to 5,829.10. Stocks in Taiwan, Singapore were higher but in the Philippines and Indonesia they were lower.

CHINA DATA: China's global trade balance swung to a rare deficit in March as exports dropped, but its surplus with the United States stood at $15.4 billion. Exports contracted 2.7 per cent from a year earlier to $174.1 billion, down from the 24.4 per cent growth for the first two months of 2018, customs data showed Friday. Imports rose 14.4 per cent to $179.1 billion, though that was down from 21.7 per cent growth in January and February.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "U.S.-centric politics once again played the key role in shifting the alternating market sentiment with President Donald Trump toning down on the attacks upon Syria," Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG in Singapore, said in a daily commentary. "Early movers in the Asian region have certainly caught on this improved sentiment, with the icing on the cake being President Donald Trump's directive to consider the re-joining of the Trans-Pacific Partnership."

TRADE: Trade has been a big issue that swayed global stock markets since the onset of the trade dispute between the United States and China. Those concerns took a backseat as Trump asked advisers to explore the possibility of the U.S. returning to trade talks with 11 Pacific nations to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

SYRIA: Trump put off a final decision on possible military strikes against Syria after tweeting earlier that they could happen "very soon or not so soon at all." The White House said on Thursday the United States will continue to consult its partners and allies. The statement eased worries about escalation of tensions. Trump's earlier tweet suggested that he wanted to retaliate against Russia after the recent suspected chemical attack in Syria.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 51 cents to $67.58 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 0.4 per cent on Thursday to settle $67.07 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 26 cents to $71.76 per barrel in London. It shed 0.1 per cent to finish at $72.02 a barrel on Thursday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 107.58 yen from 107.32 yen. The euro strengthened to $1.2332 from $1.2328.

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

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