Global stocks were mostly higher on Friday, the last day of the quarter, as investors gained confidence from a record close on Wall Street the day before.
KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 was up almost 0.1 percent at 5,295, while Germany’s DAX added 0.4 percent to 12,748. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.6 percent to 7,366. After the S&P 500 closed at its highest level ever on Thursday, U.S. shares looked set to drift slightly lower. Both the Dow and S&P 500 futures were down 0.1 percent.
ECONOMIC DATA: New data in Europe showed the inflation rate remained stuck at 1.5 percent in September. That was below expectations for a rise to 1.6 percent but is unlikely to derail the European Central Bank’s plans to consider limiting its bond-buying stimulus program.
Looking ahead, investors will be monitoring U.S. data on personal income. The Federal Reserve is monitoring data as it looks set to raise interest rates again in December.
THE QUOTE: “Following the Fed’s somewhat surprisingly hawkish stance last week with inflation forecast and dot-plot being kept unchanged, expectation on a December rate hike has been gradually building,” says Zhu Huani of the Singapore Treasury Division at Mizuho Bank.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 inched down, less than 0.1 percent, to finish at 20,356.28, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.2 percent to 5,681.60. South Korea’s Kospi stood at 2,394.47, up 0.9 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged up 0.5 percent to 27,554.30, and the Shanghai Composite added 0.3 percent to 3,348.94.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 17 cents to $51.39 a barrel. It fell 58 cents to $51.56 a barrel in New York Thursday. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, shed 21 cents to $57.20 per barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 112.50 yen from 112.90 yen late Thursday in Asia. The euro rose to $1.1806 from $1.1735.