BEIJING (AP) — European stocks gained Tuesday while Asian markets mostly fell as expectations of a U.S. rate hike boosted the dollar and investors watched for signs of policy direction from President-elect Donald Trump.
KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, London’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.6 percent to 6,796.01 and France’s CAC-40 gained 0.4 percent to 4,528.12. Germany’s DAX rose 0.3 percent to 10,728.33. On Monday, the CAC-40 gained 0.4 percent while the DAX and the FTSE were up 0.3 percent. On Wall Street, the future for the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 0.3 percent and that for the Dow Jones industrial average was unchanged.
RISING DOLLAR: The dollar climbed as high as 108.37 yen from Monday’s 107.87 yen as expectations of a U.S. rate hike rose. Trump’s surprise election initially raised expectations the Federal Reserve might put off a rate hike until his plans were clear. But analysts say the latest comments from Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan indicate the Fed is sticking to plans to act in December. “There appears no stopping the U.S. dollar’s recent ascent based on the current interest rate trajectory,” Stephen Innes of OANDA said in a report.
TRUMP WATCH: Investors were watching for signs of what Trump, who gave few details of his plans on the campaign trail, might do in office. Analysts say his promises of tax cuts and higher infrastructure spending could boost economic growth but also spur inflation. His threats of sanctions against China and other trading partners that he accuses of acting unfairly have rattled trade-dependent Asian economies.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “Moving forward, the spotlight could shine on the contentious trade policy proposals that the president-elect had raised during his campaign,” said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report. “The latest soundbite from outgoing President Barack Obama seems to suggest that the incoming president is ‘ultimately pragmatic’,” said Pan. “It is without a doubt that emerging Asian markets would be negatively impacted should a trade war break out between US and China, although the delayed address could mean that the President-elect may indeed be more pragmatic than we have known.”
ASIA’S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1 percent to 3,206.99 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 retreated 0.4 percent to 5,326.20. Seoul’s Kospi shed 0.3 percent to 1,967.53 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was steady at 17,668.15. India’s Sensex fell 1.4 percent to 26,449.50 and benchmarks in Malaysia and Indonesia also fell. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.5 percent to 22,323.91 and New Zealand, Singapore and Bangkok also advanced.
CURRENCY: The euro climbed to $1.0814 from $1.0766.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 95 cents to $44.27 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract shed 9 cents on Monday to close at $43.32. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 80 cents to $45.23 in London. It lost 32 cents on Monday to $44.43.
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