Asian shares fall ahead of G7 summit, central bank meetings

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were moderately lower Friday, as investors awaited the Group of Seven leaders’ meeting, continuing into the weekend, and for European Central Bank and Federal Reserve meetings next week.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 shed less than 0.1 percent to 22,813.58 in early trading. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 inched down less than 0.1 percent to 6,056.00. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.4 percent to 2,460.14. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.9 percent at 31,229.01, while the Shanghai Composite index shed nearly 0.8 percent to 3,085.80.

WALL STREET: The S&P 500 index lost 1.98 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,770.37. The Dow Jones industrial average picked up 95.02 points, or 0.4 percent, to 25,241.41, helped by big gains for McDonald’s and Chevron. The Nasdaq composite slumped 54.17 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,635.07. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks slid 8.17 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,667.77. Both of those indexes set all-time highs the last few days.

GROUP OF SEVEN: Leaders from the Group of Seven wealthy industrialized nations are meeting in Canada, where President Donald Trump’s new tariffs are expected to be a major focus. The White House is expecting a chilly reception from Canada and western European countries.

RATE WATCH: The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates. That would be the second increase in rates this year, and the Fed has said it expects to raise rates three times in 2018.

THE QUOTE: “There’s a high level of circumspection associated with this weekend’s G7 meeting as President Trump prepares to enter the G7 lion’s den,” says Stephen Innes, head of trading at Oanda. “Then there’s that small matter of the European Central Bank and Federal Reserve Board meetings, which could be very crucial for the markets next tack.”

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 7 cents to $66.02 a barrel. It rose 1.9 percent to $65.95 per barrel in New York Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 7 cents to $77.25 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.71 yen from 109.97 yen late Thursday in Asia. The euro slipped to $1.1804 from $1.1817.


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