TOKYO/March 17, 2017 (AP)(STL.News) — Global markets were mixed Friday as investors awaited a meeting of finance and economic ministers of the Group of 20 industrial countries.
KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 lost 0.1 percent in early trading to 5,007.66, while Germany’s DAX fell 0.5 percent to 12,028.09. Britain’s FTSE 100 inched up nearly 0.1 percent to 7,418.84. U.S. shares were set to drift lower with Dow futures down 0.1 percent and S&P 500 futures 0.2 percent lower.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged down 0.4 percent to finish at 19,521.59. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2 percent to 5,799.60 and India’s Sensex was up 0.3 percent at 29,683.29. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.7 percent to 2,164.58. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged 0.1 percent higher to 24,309.93, while the Shanghai Composite shed nearly 1.0 percent to 3,237.45.
G-20 POWWOW: Finance leaders from the G-20 industrial and emerging economies are meeting Friday-Saturday in the southern German resort town of Baden-Baden. The first G-20 finance meeting since tough-talking Donald Trump was elected president, it’s likely to focus on concerns over protectionism and currencies.
THE QUOTE: “Normally the G-20 serves up a vacuous statement on free trade, etc. that most of its members completely ignore themselves, before they all head of for a nice lunch and photos at a nice resort somewhere,” Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a commentary. “This meeting has the potential to be more heated so to speak, with some very militant senior members of the new Trump administration in attendance and looking to shake the global trade tree. Lunch may have to wait.”
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. rose 6 cents to $48.81 a barrel. It had slipped 11 cents to settle at $48.75 per barrel Thursday, the eighth drop in the last nine days. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, slipped 7 cents to $51.67 a barrel.
CURRENCIES: The euro rose to $1.0768 from $1.0726 in Asia, while the dollar slipped to 113.32 yen from 113.40 yen.
YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer