Beijing – Most global stock markets rose Monday following a strong week on Wall Street despite jitters about the status of Spain’s Catalonia region and tensions over North Korea,AP reports.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX rose 0.2 percent to 12,985.31 and France’s CAC-40 advanced 0.2 percent to 5,369.70. London’s FTSE 100 was unchanged at 7,518.62. On Friday, the CAC shed 0.4 percent and the DAX lost 0.1 percent while the FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent. On Wall Street, futures for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the Dow Jones industrial average added 0.1 percent.
ASIA’S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.8 percent to 3,374.38 and Sydney’s S&P ASX 200 gained 0.5 percent to 5,739.30. Markets in Japan and South Korea were closed for holidays. India’s Sensex advanced 0.1 percent to 31,846.67 and benchmarks in New Zealand and Southeast Asia rose. Hong Kong’s Hang lost 0.5 percent to 28,326.59.
WALL STREET: U.S. stocks faded Friday as telecom and energy shares sank but ended the week near record highs. Attention centered on government jobs data that were much weaker than expected. Economists cautioned not to read too much into them, because they were distorted by hurricanes that disrupted business from Texas to Florida. The S&P and the Dow, coming off a record high, lost 0.1 percent while the Nasdaq composite added 0.1 percent.
U.S. JOBS: The U.S. economy lost 33,000 jobs last month as hiring fell due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but the Labor Department said the unemployment rate fell to a 16-year low. It was the first monthly employment loss in nearly seven years, but economists said weakness is likely to be short-lived as the country rebounds from the storms. Previous disasters such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 inflicted short-term job losses that were followed by intensified hiring.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “Price action across various asset markets seemed disjointed amidst the noise in U.S. economic data and persisting geopolitical risks,” Johanna Chua of Citigroup said in a report. “Impact of hurricanes was clearly felt in headline payroll change in August for U.S. However, lower unemployment rate and sharp upside surprise in average hourly earnings continue to support market expectations of further Fed hikes,” said Chua. “Investor attention is divided by the Catalan situation in Europe and proceedings will be watched closely. Meanwhile, tension in the Korean peninsula persists and likelihood of another missile test from North Korea has risen lately.”
SPAIN JITTERS: European markets were on edge following protests over possible plans by Catalonia to declare independence from Spain. On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people opposed to independence gathered in the streets of the region’s capital, Barcelona, and chanted, “Catalonia is Spain!” The region’s president has pledged to push ahead for independence following an Oct. 1 referendum. “Catalan President (Carles) Puigdemont could call independence as early as Tuesday, in which case, expect trouble,” Rob Carnell of ING said in a report.
BRITAIN: Beleaguered Prime Minister Theresa May insisted she was in control after a dismal performance at her party’s annual conference and an announcement by a lawmaker that 30 colleagues want her to resign. May has struggled to unite her government over how Britain should leave the European Union and what relationship it wants with the bloc after that. May’s appearance at her Conservative Party’s conference last week was marred by a heckler and a coughing fit. A former party chairman said a growing number of members want her to resign, though the figure he cited was below the 48 required to trigger a formal leadership challenge.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 25 cents to $49.54 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.50 the previous session to close at $49.29. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 10 cents to $55.72 on London. It dropped 38 cents the previous day to $55.62.
CURRENCY: The dollar edged up to 112.66 yen from Friday’s 112.65. The euro was unchanged at $1.1731.