SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Global stock markets were subdued on Friday, apart from another strong gain by Japan’s benchmark. Trading was mostly subdued as investors awaited corporate earnings and U.S. inflation data.
KEEPING SCORE: Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.4 percent to 7,529.53 while France’s CAC 40 edged down 0.1 percent to 5,357.66. Germany’s DAX was flat at 12,984.18. Futures augured a lukewarm start on Wall Street. S&P futures fell less than 0.1 percent while Dow futures added less than 0.1 percent.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.0 percent to 21,155.18 while South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.1 percent to 2,473.62. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.1 percent to 28,476.43 and the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1 percent to 3,390.52. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3 percent to 5,814.20. Stocks in Southeast Asia were higher.
JAPAN RALLY: The Nikkei 225 index has logged gains in most recent sessions, reaching levels last seen 21 years ago. Strong economic data and corporate earnings expectations are supporting sentiment, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe looks set to buttress his already strong majority in parliament in a lower house election due to be held on Oct. 22.
SAMSUNG EARNINGS: Samsung said its third quarter profit nearly tripled from a year earlier thanks to a continued boom in the memory chip industry. The company’s share price slumped 1.5 percent after the head of its semiconductor business offered to resign, saying the company needs a new leader.
ANALYST VIEWPOINT: “U.S. markets took another break from record breaking, ending Thursday broadly lower. Diving into the earnings season, it may not be a welcoming turn for Asian markets looking to continue the strong rally from yesterday,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary. “Friday’s September CPI release may still offer an opportunity for the U.S. dollar to see some upsides.”
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 81 cents to $51.41 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 70 cents, or 1.4 percent, to finish at $50.60 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 98 cents to $57.23 per barrel in London. It fell 69 cents, or 1.2 percent, to close at $56.25 a barrel on Thursday.
CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 112.12 yen from 112.30 yen. The euro slipped $1.1827 from $1.1828.