Global stocks mixed after US government shutdown

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—Photo by AP


BEIJING: Global stocks were mixed on Monday as global investors mostly shrugged off the latest U.S. government shutdown.

KEEPING SCORE: German’s DAX was roughly flat at 13,436 and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.1 percent to 5,532. London’s FTSE 100 was up less than 0.1 percent at 7,733. Wall Street was forecast to dip, with the futures for the Dow Jones industrial average off 0.2 percent and those for the Standard & Poor’s 500 down 0.1 percent.

U.S. SHUTDOWN: A range of U.S. government services were suspended after lawmakers failed to agree on a new budget, but economists said the shutdown was unlikely to last long enough to cause much economic damage. Investors and consumers are feeling optimistic now based on the tax cut signed into law last month, and the economy is strong enough to power through a short shutdown.

ANALYST’S TAKE: “The much-anticipated shutdown of the U.S. government on Saturday did not trigger much of a knee-jerk reaction,” said Margaret Yang of CMC Markets in a report. “Safe-havens, namely Japanese yen and gold, edged higher, showing market sentiment remains cautious amid uncertainties of how long it will take the Democrats and Republicans to find a common ground on immigration concessions in order for the government to resume operating.”

GERMANY: Social Democrats voted to open talks on forming a new government for Europe’s largest economy with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives after party leaders urged members to overcome their apprehensions for the good of the country. The vote was a step toward ending political gridlock that has blocked formation of a government since September’s election. Many Social Democrats expressed concerns a 28-page agreement on prerequisites for coalition talks had watered down too many of their positions.

ASIA’S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4 percent to 3,501.36 points and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 ended up 8 points at 23,816.33. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 0.4 percent to 32,393.41 and India’s Sensex added 0.7 percent to 35,765.62. Seoul’s Kospi lost 0.7 percent to 2,502.11 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.2 percent to 5,991.90. Benchmarks in Taiwan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia gained.

CURRENCY: The dollar edged up to 110.83 yen from Friday’s 110.75 yen. The euro gained to $1.2242 from $1.2220.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 2 cents to $63.35 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 58 cents the previous session. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped 11 cents to $68.50 in London. It lost 70 cents the previous session.—AP

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