TOKYO/May 15, 2017 (AP)(STL.News) Shares Gain — Shares edged higher Monday in Europe and Asia, despite worries of disruptions from the “WannaCry” ransomware cyberattack over the weekend. Yet another missile launch by North Korea also appeared to have little impact, while upbeat talk on trade and infrastructure investment at a top-level conference in China brightened sentiment.
KEEPING SCORE: Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent to 7,444.12 and Germany’s DAX was nearly flat at 12,773.70. The CAC 40 of France fell 0.2 percent to 5,395.90. U.S. markets looked poised for an upbeat start to the week, with Dow futures up 0.2 percent to 20,892.00 and S&P 500 futures 0.1 percent higher at 2,391.60.
CYBERATTACK: The global “ransomware” cyberattack, unprecedented in scale, had technicians scrambling to secure the computers that run factories, banks, government agencies and transport systems in many other nations. Fresh troubles were reported in Asia as businesses reopened Monday, but the scale of the impact from the effort to extort cash from computer users was still unclear.
MISSILE LAUNCH: North Korea said Monday the missile it launched early Sunday was a new type of “medium long-range” ballistic rocket that can carry a heavy nuclear warhead. A jubilant leader Kim Jong Un promised more nuclear and missile tests and warned that North Korean weapons could strike the U.S. mainland and Pacific holdings. The claim, if confirmed, would mark another big advance toward the North’s goal of fielding a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.
QUOTABLE: “The state of geo-politics and the global economy makes you ‘WannaCry,'” said a commentary from Mizuho Bank in Singapore. “And North Korea’s mid-to-long range missile test on Sunday is also regrettable, denting some of the optimism around South Korea’s newly-minted President Moon, whose more conciliatory approach to the North was seen as a positive. Admittedly, risks of imminent confrontation are not elevated, but this is nevertheless a reminder that geo-political risks continue to linger in the background.”
CHINA’S SILK ROAD: Chinese President Xi Jinping appealed to foreign leaders at a forum on a Chinese trade initiative to resist pressure to close markets. That followed pledges of more than $100 billion in financing during a gathering of leaders from 29 countries to promote the “Belt and Road Initiative” of developing ports, railways and other facilities in a vast arc of 65 countries.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index slipped 0.1 percent to 19,869.85, falling back after early gains. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.9 percent to 25,371.59 and the Shanghai Composite index rose 0.2 percent to 3,090.23. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 was nearly unchanged at 5,838.40. The Kospi of South Korea climbed 0.2 percent to 2,290.65. Shares in Taiwan and Southeast Asia were mostly higher.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained $1.17 to $49.01 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained $1.01 on Friday. Brent crude, the international standard, jumped $1.25 to $52.09 a barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar was steady at 113.56 yen and the euro rose to $1.0946 from $1.0932.