Global shares mixed amid trade friction pressures

Global shares were mixed Tuesday, with steady China economic growth data supporting sentiment despite simmering trade tensions between China and the U.S.

KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 inched up 0.1 percent to 5,319.17 in early trading, while Germany’s DAX added 0.3 percent to 12,430.06. Britain’s FTSE 100 was down nearly 0.1 percent at 7,191.33. U.S. shares were set to drift higher with the Dow future gaining 0.4 percent to 24,663. The S&P 500 future climbed 0.3 percent to 2,690.20.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged 0.1 percent higher to 21,847.59. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was unchanged at 5,841.50. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.2 percent to 2,453.77. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.9 percent to 30,059.32, while the Shanghai Composite dropped 1.4 percent to 3,066.80. Shares fell in Taiwan and Indonesia, but rose in Singapore.

CHINA FACTOR: China’s economic growth held steady in the quarter ending in March, buoyed by investment and rapid growth in e-commerce despite trade tensions with Washington. The world’s second-largest economy expanded by 6.8 percent over a year earlier, in line with the quarter ending in December and down slightly from 2017’s full-year expansion of 6.9 percent, data showed Tuesday.

THE QUOTE: “In practice, growth is almost certainly slower than officials claim and looks to have edged down slightly last quarter. But the big picture is that economic momentum did hold up fairly well in Q1, with the easing of pollution controls sparking a recovery in industrial activity,” Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a commentary.

GEOPOLITICS: Investors appear to have begun putting aside concerns over Friday night’s missile attack by the U.S., Britain and France on Syria’s chemical weapons program. On Monday, the White House said it was considering imposing additional sanctions on Russia, a key ally of Syrian leader Bashar Assad.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 20 cents to $66.42 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It declined $1.17 to settle at $66.22 per barrel on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 13 cents to $71.55 per barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 107.01 yen from 107.12 yen late Monday. The euro strengthened to $1.2398 from $1.2380.


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