AP and AFP
SEOUL/HONG KONG–European stock markets got off to a solid start Wednesday as U.S. futures pointed to a rebound on Wall Street. Asian markets closed lower, dented by weak earnings in Australia, a jump in oil prices and volatility in Chinese stocks.
Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.3 percent to 6,949.23 and Germany’s DAX rose 0.8 percent to 11,415.48. France’s CAC-40 gained 0.5 percent to 4,999.04. Futures showed that Wall Street was set to recoup part of the previous day’s losses. S&P500 futures and Dow futures both climbed 0.3 percent.
U.S. payroll processor ADP is scheduled to report later Wednesday on how many jobs private employers added in April. In March, U.S. businesses slowed their pace of hiring. Analysts said they are expecting to see an improvement in last month’s data. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks on ��finance and society�� at the International Monetary Fund. While markets are not expecting a big surprise in her speech, analysts will pay close attention to her language to find any signal about the timing of the Fed’s first rate hike this year.
A standoff in talks between Greece and its lenders stoked worries in the markets. Top officials in the European Union said they are making progress on finding a way to keep the country afloat and in the 19-nation eurozone. Greece will have to scrounge for cash to make a 750-million-euro repayment to the International Monetary Fund by May 12.
Asian stocks lost ground as China’s market declined and U.S. markets fell on worries about surging oil prices. Shares in Hong Kong and mainland China closed lower for a second day. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index ended down 114.63 points or 0.41 percent at 27,640.91 on turnover of HK$161.3 billion (US$20.7 billion). Property developers fared badly in the session, with Henderson Land down HK$1.20 to HK$61.95 while China Overseas Land dipped HK$1.25 to HK$29.45. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.62 percent, or 69.44 points, to 4,229.27 on turnover of 716.5 billion yuan (US$117.2 billion). The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, lost 0.50 percent, or 11.18 points, to 2,206.71 on turnover of 516.9 billion yuan. ��Shanghai continued to fall today because the market correction is not over yet. The correction could go on until later this month because the market has risen too fast,�� Zheshang Securities analyst Zhang Yanbing told AFP.