World markets drift as oil falls, China exports rise

AP and AFP

HONG KONG–Global stock markets drifted Tuesday as oil extended its slide, falling below US$45 a barrel, while better-than-expected Chinese trade figures countered recent gloom over the slowdown in the world’s No. 2 economy.

In early European trading, France’s CAC-40 was up 0.1 percent to 4,229.89 and Germany’s DAX added 0.1 percent to 9,796.23. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.1 percent to 6,501.90. Crude sank again Monday after Wall Street investment titan Goldman Sachs slashed its price outlook for the commodity, adding to anxiety about a global oversupply, weak demand and soft growth in the key Chinese and European markets. The warning sent U.S. shares tumbling, with the Dow down 0.54 percent, the S&P 500 off 0.81 percent and the Nasdaq tumbling 0.84 percent. Tokyo shares closed 0.64 percent lower, as oil prices slumped to near six-year lows and after a fall on Wall Street. The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange slid 110.02 points to finish at 17,087.71, narrowing its losses as the yen weakened in afternoon trade.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares fell 0.43 percent, or 5.89 points, to 1,374.69. The Japanese market, which was closed Monday for a national holiday, slumped at the open as it tracked the weak lead from New York. The Nikkei was down more than two percent in early trade. While the Nikkei reacted to jitters over diving oil prices, the yen lost its early gains in afternoon trading, helping pare losses for some Japanese exporters.