World shares mostly higher; no word on China-US trade talks

    A man walks past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a local bank in Hong Kong Monday, Jan. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

    Shares rose in early European trading after a mixed day Tuesday in Asia in the absence of official updates on China-U.S. trade talks in Beijing.

    KEEPING SCORE: The DAX in Germany gained 0.3 percent to 10,777.42 and France’s CAC 40 was up 0.4 percent at 4,737.69. Britain’s FTSE 100 picked up 0.5 percent to 6,847.14. Wall Street looked set for gains, with the future contract for the Dow up 0.4 percent at 23,603.00 and that for the S&P 500 also 0.4 percent higher at 2,560.90.

    ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gained 0.8 percent to 20,204.04 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.2 percent to 25,875.45. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 gained 0.7 percent to 5,722.40 and the South Korean Kospi gave up 0.5 percent to 2,026.23. India’s Sensex gained 0.2 percent lower to 35,906.68. Shares fell in Taiwan, Indonesia and Thailand but rose in Singapore.

    CHINA-US TRADE: An official Chinese newspaper warned Washington not to demand too much from Beijing as talks on ending their tariff war entered a second day Tuesday with no word on possible progress. Investors have been encouraged by the resumption of the talks between Beijing and Washington on a dispute over technology that has resulted in both sides imposing penalty tariffs on billions of dollars’ of each other’s exports. Those duties are likely to rise in March if no progress is made. The two-day working level talks were due to wrap up Tuesday.

    ANALYST’S VIEWPOINT: “Against the backdrop of negotiations held in Beijing, the optimism from U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who sees ‘a very good chance’ for a reasonable settlement with China has kept the sun shining over equities on Wall Street,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.

    ENERGY: Oil prices continued their recent rally. U.S. crude gained 6 cents to $48.58 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 1.2 percent to $48.52 per barrel in New York. After sinking to an 18-month low of $42.53 a barrel on Dec. 24, the price of U.S. crude rose for seven of the last eight trading days. Brent crude, used to price international oils, picked up 13 cents to $57.46 per barrel after rising 0.5 percent in London.

    CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 108.98 yen from 108.73 yen. The euro slipped to $1.1446 from $1.1475.

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