European shares are mostly lower after a day of gains in Asia, as a decision by President Donald Trump looms on whether to pull out of the U.S. nuclear deal.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX dropped 0.5 percent to 12,885.50 and the CAC 40 in France lost 0.3 percent to 5,513.20. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged 0.1 percent higher to 7,575.63. The future for the S&P 500 slipped 0.2 percent to 2,664.50 and the future for the Dow lost 0.1 percent to 24,265.00, pointing to a downbeat start on Wall Street.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index added 0.2 percent to 22,508.69 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 1.4 percent to 30,402.81. The Shanghai Composite index jumped 0.8 percent to 3,161.50. South Korea’s Kospi gave up early gains to lose 0.5 percent, ending at 2,449.81, while Australia’s S&P ASX 200 edged 0.1 percent higher to 6,091.90. Shares were higher in Singapore and Taiwan but fell 1.9 percent in Indonesia after the government reported economic growth slowed in January-March.
IRAN DECISION: Trump was due to tell the world Tuesday bwhether he plans to carry out his threat to pull out of the landmark nuclear accord with Iran and almost surely ensure its collapse. There are no signs that European allies enlisted to “fix” the deal had persuaded him to preserve the accord, whose loss would reflect a growing rift between the U.S. and its allies in Europe.
CHINA TRADE: China’s exports expanded by 21.5 percent from a year earlier in April, bouncing back from a contraction the previous month. Imports expanded 12.9 percent year-on-year in dollar terms, leaving the country’s politically sensitive monthly trade surplus with the rest of the world at $28.8 billion, a turnaround from the previous month’s $5 billion deficit.
THE QUOTE: “The widening China-US trade surplus reflects the difficulty of significantly closing the trade gap between the two countries in the near term, but it is unlikely to obstruct the constructive progress made recently,” Betty Wang of ANZ said in a commentary.
ENERGY: Oil prices fell back after a rally that had them closing above $70 a barrel for the first time since November 2014. On Monday, oil futures climbed to their highest level since November 2014 as a May 12 deadline approached for the U.S. to decide whether to remain in the nuclear agreement with Iran. Tuesday in Asia, benchmark U.S. crude oil dropped 91 cents to $69.82 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, lost 73 cents per barrel to $75.45 per barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 109.00 yen from 109.07 yen on Monday. The euro fell to $1.1890 from $1.1924.