Global shares were steady in cautious trading Friday ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. China’s report that its economy grew at a 6.8 percent pace in October-December was in line with expectations.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX was steady at 11,599.05. The CAC 40 of France added 0.2 percent to 4,848.81. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.5 percent to 7,208.44. Wall Street looked headed for a subdued start, with the future for the Dow Jones industrial average down 0.1 percent and the S&P 500 future up 0.2 percent.
TRUMP’S INAUGURATION: The Dow Jones industrial average erased its gains for 2017 on Thursday, falling for the fifth day in a row as the post-election Trump rally waned ahead of the inauguration. Investors will be looking for clues in Trump’s inauguration speech for his plans on fiscal stimulus, tax cuts and trade. On Thursday, the Dow fell 0.4 percent, to 19,732.40, slightly below where it finished 2016 but close to its record closing high of 19,974.62, set one month ago. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index also fell 0.4 percent, to 2,263.69. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.3 percent to 5,540.08.
ANALYST QUOTES: “Markets are now waiting for more evidence that Donald Trump will deliver on fiscal stimulus and deregulation but uncertainty remains high about what he will do on trade,” Shane Oliver of AMP Capital said in a commentary. “The risk of a tit-for-tat trade war between the U.S. and China is high, particularly if Trump formally brands China a currency manipulator.”
CHINA’S GDP: Shares in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose after the government said the economy grew at a 6.8 percent annual rate in the last quarter, helped by property investment and government spending. Full year growth was 6.7 percent, the weakest in three decades as a potential trade battle with Trump looms. On a quarterly basis, growth has been decelerating.
THE DAY IN ASIA: Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3 percent to 19,137.91 and the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.7 percent to 3,123.14. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 fell 0.7 percent to 5,654.80, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.7 percent to 22,885.91 and South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.4 percent to 2,065.61. India’s Sensex lost 1 percent to 27,034.21 and Southeast Asian markets were mixed.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 29 cents to $52.40 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 23 cents Thursday to close at $52.12. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 25 cents to $54.41 in London. It added 24 cents in the previous session to $54.16.
CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 114.96 yen from Thursday’s 114.80. The euro rose to $1.0664 from $1.0659.