BANGKOK – Shares were mostly higher in Europe on Monday, tracking gains in Asia as investors awaited further developments in trade talks between the U.S. and China.
Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 1 per cent in early trading to 7,175.46 as Prime Minister Theresa May battled to stave off a fresh defeat for her proposal on the divorce from the European Union. Talks were deadlocked a day before Parliament was scheduled to vote on the plan.
Germany’s DAX edged 0.1 per cent higher to 11,471.01 and the CAC 40 in France was less than 0.1 per cent higher at 5,235.74. Wall Street looked set for a mixed start, with the future contract for the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.7 per cent to 25,350.00. That for the S&P 500 gained 0.1 per cent to 2,754.10.
“Brexit jitters are setting in ahead of a series of Brexit votes starting tomorrow,” Jasper Lawler, head of research for London Capital Group, said in a commentary. “With Theresa May’s deal now an almost certain failure, pound traders are concerned about what actually comes next. A delay is looking like the most likely outcome.”
The British pound was trading at $1.2986, down from $1.3014 on Friday.
Shares in aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co. dropped 9.6 per cent in pre-market trading after the crash Sunday of a 737 Max 8 plane in Ethiopia that killed all 157 people aboard.
News on the trade front was quiet.
Speaking on the sidelines of the annual legislative session on Sunday, China’s central bank governor, Yi Gang, gave no indication China and the U.S. had reached a consensus beyond previous commitments produced by meetings of the Group of 20 major economies.
Yi, who attended the latest round of talks in Washington, reaffirmed official promises not to manipulate China’s currency to boost exports. He said the issue was discussed in those talks, which are aimed at ending a conflict over Beijing’s technology ambitions that has led both sides to raise tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods.
He repeated official promises that China’s stock and bond markets would open wider to global investors and its currency would trade more freely but gave no details or a timeline.
Weaker than expected Chinese loan and money supply data raised hopes for further action to spur the slowing economy. The 885.8 billion yuan ($132 billion) in new loans in February reported Monday was below forecasts and much lower than the 3.23 trillion yuan in new lending in January.
The Shanghai Composite jumped 1.9 per cent to 3,026.99 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 1.0 per cent to 28,503.30. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index added 0.5 per cent to 21,125.09 and the S&P ASX 200 in Australia slipped 0.4 per cent to 6,180.20. India’s Sensex surged 1.1 per cent to 37,071.03 while South Korea’s Kospi was flat at 2,138.10.
It was a steady start for the week after a wave of selling on Wall Street Friday left the S&P 500 with its worst weekly showing since January and its eighth loss in nine trading sessions.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 44 cents to $56.51 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 59 cents to $56.07 per barrel on Friday. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 54 cents to $66.28 per barrel. It lost 0.8 cents to close at $65.74 per barrel on Friday.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.22 yen from 111.17 yen on Friday. The euro strengthened to $1.1248 from $1.1230.