Stock markets mixed as tense G7 summit gets underway

French President Emmanuel Macron says governments should not be shy about making deals without Washington
AFP

New York (AFP) – World stock markets were mixed on Friday at the start of a tense Group of Seven summit amid disagreement between the US and allies on trade, Iran and other issues.

The two-day G7 meeting that opened in Canada has earned the unofficial “G6 plus one” moniker following a series of aggressive trade actions by US President Donald Trump that have angered allies.

“Investors are either worried that nothing will get resolved, or Trump will become more entrenched in his aggressive approach to trade,” said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex traders, adding that the meeting would probably be “feisty.”

Traditional allies such as the European Union and Canada are also frustrated at Trump’s withdrawal from hard-fought international agreements on climate change and on containing Iran’s nuclear program.

Trump threw an additional curveball at the group early Friday when he called for Russia to be readmitted into the group.

European stocks closed mostly lower following a slump in Asia — and after a week of largely strong gains in the wake of robust US jobs data and easing political headwinds in Italy and Spain.

Frankfurt’s DAX 30 was also pressured by data showing industrial production in Germany unexpectedly fell in April, adding to fears of a slowdown in Europe’s powerhouse economy.

US stocks spent much of the morning in negative territory but shifted into the black around midday. The S&P 500 finished up 0.3 percent and the Nasdaq edged up 0.1 percent. 

The Nasdaq in particular was pressured by a report in Nikkei Asian Review that Apple had told suppliers to expect lower smartphone shipments in the second half of 2018 compared with last year’s orders. Shares of the tech giant ended down 0.9 percent.

Analysts also attributed Friday’s caution in part to next week’s jam-packed calendar of potentially market-moving events.

The US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan all meet next week. Also on the agenda: a US-North Korean summit and the publication of several US economic data.

In Asia on Friday, Japan’s Nikkei stocks index ended 0.6 percent lower with dealers unmoved by news confirming Japan’s economy shrank for the first time in two years in January-March.

Hong Kong sank 1.8 percent after a six-day winning run and Shanghai slipped 1.4 percent despite forecast-beating Chinese trade data.

– Key figures around 2100 GMT –

New York – Dow Jones: UP 0.3 percent at 25,316.53 (close)

New York – S&P 500: UP 0.3 percent at 2,779.03 (close)

New York – Nasdaq: UP 0.1 percent at 7,645.51 (close)

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.3 percent at 7,681.07 points (close) 

Paris – CAC 40: FLAT at 5,450.22 (close)

Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.4 percent at 12,766.55 (close)

Milan – FTSE MIB: DOWN 1.9 percent at 21,355 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.4 percent at 3,444.90 (close)

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.6 percent at 22,694.50 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 1.8 percent at 30,958.21 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 1.4 percent at 3,067.15 (close)

Euro/dollar: FLAT at $1.1800, same as Thursday at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3400 from $1.3423

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 109.47 yen from 109.70 yen

Oil – Brent Crude: DOWN 86 cents at $76.47 per barrel

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 21 cents $65.74 per barrel

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