Global stock markets were mixed on Wednesday as investors awaited more policy details from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. Oil prices retreated, snapping an overnight rally.
KEEPING SCORE: European markets started on a weak note with Britain’s FTSE 100 down 0.5 percent to 6,755.73. Germany’s DAX lost 0.6 percent to 10,675.73 while France’s CAC 40 was off 0.6 percent 4,507.27. Futures augured a tepid start on Wall Street with Dow futures down 0.3 percent and S&P futures also dipping 0.4 percent.
TRUMP FOCUS: In the week since Trump’s victory, stock markets have rallied as investors hoped his presidency would augur in a period of more government spending on such things as infrastructure. However, there’s a growing sense that Trump’s policies may lead to higher inflation and interest rates. That’s been particularly notable in the bond markets, where yields have gone up, a development that’s seen the dollar in the ascendant.
ANALYST TAKE: “Equities are nursing small losses as excitement eases about U.S. Trumpflationary policies representing a turning point and looming political risk in Europe attracts fresh attention,” wrote Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets. Europe faces elections that could strengthen populist forces, starting with a referendum in Italy Dec. 4 on changes to the constitution. A “no” vote could topple Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
ASIA’S DAY: Asian markets finished mostly higher. Japan’s Nikkei jumped 1.1 percent to 17,862.21 and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.6 percent to 1,979.65. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed 0.2 percent lower at 22,280.53, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index edged 0.1 percent lower to 3,205.06. Australia’s S&P/ASX was nearly unchanged at 5,327.70.
OIL: Oil prices fell after rallying overnight on hopes that OPEC members would agree to lower output when they meet later this month. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 62 cents to $45.18 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 51 cents to $46.44 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 109.63 yen from 108.94 yen while the euro fell slightly to $1.06978 from $1.0731.