Tuesday, 24 April, 2018

World shares meander following US-led air strikes on Syria

CNA file CNA file
Russell Knight | 17 April, 2018, 13:13

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.

United States stocks finished lower on Friday as fears of a trade far, concerns about higher interest rates and downbeat consumer sentiment data overshadowed encouraging earnings reports from financial giants JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo.

The dollar was barely changed, with demand for safe-haven US Treasuries ebbing as risk appetite improved in parts of the broader market as investors took the view that Western-led strikes on Syria were a one-off intervention.

"The more timely March data, however, point to nascent signs of a growth slowdown underway, led by these old economy sectors", Subbaraman said.

The Nikkei 225 Index gained 56.79 points, or 0.3%, to close Monday at 21,835.53. South Korea's Kospi was flat at 2,454.86 and Australia's S&P ASX 200 picked up 0.2 per cent to 5,838.60.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index tumbled 48.40 points or 1.5% to post its worst loss in three weeks while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed down 1.6% at 30,315.59 points. Australian stocks gained 0.3% with mining shares gaining on higher aluminium prices.

MIDDLE EAST: The leaders of Russia, Iran and the Hezbollah group in Lebanon said Sunday that Western airstrikes on their ally Syria, targeting its chemical weapons program, have complicated prospects for a political settlement to the country's seven-year conflict.

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Global stock markets were stable and the price of oil fell Monday as investors seemed convinced that US -led air strikes on Syria would not escalate but remained cautious about tensions with Russian Federation. "Military action, however, has been limited, bringing relief", said Kota Hirayama, senior emerging markets economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo.

Asian stocks ended mixed on Monday as worries about slowing growth in China and higher interest rates offset easing concerns about the geopolitical risks of the conflict in Syria.

Advertisment Asian stocks closed mixed on Monday, with markets in greater China lagging the rest of the region, as investors digested geopolitical tensions on the back of US -led airstrikes on Syria last week.

The Dow gained 0.87 percent and the S&P 500 rose 0.8 percent on Monday, with the biggest boosts from technology and healthcare sectors as investors were optimistic about the earnings season and appeared less anxious about US -led missile attacks in Syria.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was little changed at 89.407 after losing 0.4 percent overnight. The euro edged higher to $1.2335 from $1.2333.

It also comes against the backdrop of a trade spat between the United States and China, which many fear could hammer the global economy if the two sides push through threatened tit-for-tat tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of goods. It declined $1.17 to settle at $66.22 per barrel on Monday. Brent crude, which is used to price worldwide oils, fell 73 cents to $71.85 per barrel.

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