World shares drift lower ahead of Trump-Xi meeting at G-20
LONDON (AP) — Global stock markets drifted lower Friday ahead of a meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit this weekend.
KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Germany’s DAX fell 0.6 percent to 11,233 while France’s CAC40 was down 0.5 percent at 4,981. Britain’s FTSE 100 was 0.7 percent lower at 6,987. Wall Street was poised to open lower too with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures down 0.5 percent.
G-20 SUMMIT: Much of the attention at the summit in Buenos Aires will be a meeting between Trump and Xi and whether it yields an easing in trade tensions. Both have imposed punitive tariffs on each other’s exports. Analysts are not optimistic about prospects for improvement a month before U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods are due to ramp up.
ANALYST TAKE: “Equities are under heavy pressure, hurt by fears of an intensification of trade war tensions between the U.S. and China,” Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.
CHINESE MANUFACTURING: A measure of China’s factory activity slipped to its lowest level in more than two years in November, adding to pressure on Beijing amid the tariff battle with Trump. The China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing said Friday its monthly purchasing managers’ index declined to 50 from October’s 50.2 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate activity is increasing. It blamed weak domestic demand for the latest decline. But investors often see such news as a signal more market-boosting stimulus may be coming.
KOREAN RATE HIKE: South Korea’s central bank lifted its benchmark rate by a quarter of a percent to 1.75 percent despite a sluggish job market and tepid growth. The Bank of Korea’s governor, Lee Ju-yeol, said the rate increase would help stabilize financial markets amid government efforts to contain surging housing prices in capital Seoul and rising consumer debt levels.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.4 percent to 22,351.06 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.2 percent to 26,506.75. The Shanghai Composite index jumped 0.8 percent to 2,588.19, while India’s Sensex was flat at 36,153.04. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.8 percent to 2,096.86 while the S&P ASX/200 in Australia tumbled 1.6 percent to 5,667.20 on heavy selling of financials and consumer goods companies.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 95 cents to $50.50 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude was 81 cents lower at $58.70 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The euro was down 0.2 percent at $1.1364 while the dollar was steady at 113.50 yen.