TOKYO/March 1, 2017 (AP)(STL.News) — Shares were mostly lower in early European trading on Thursday as the momentum from the latest Wall Street rally faded. Investors had bet big on U.S. stocks overnight, pushing the major indexes to record highs.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX slipped 0.2 percent to 12,051.01 and the CAC 40 of France was flat at 4,959.02. Britain’s FTSE 100 was nearly unchanged at 7,385.50. Dow futures were likewise steady and S&P 500 futures edged 0.1 percent lower, auguring a tepid start in U.S. trading.
WALL STREET HIGHS: The Dow Jones industrial average surpassed 21,000 points for the first time on Wednesday in what was the biggest gain for the blue-chip index so far this year. Optimism over corporate tax cuts, deregulation and other business-friendly policy proposals reiterated by President Donald Trump during a speech before Congress helped fuel the rally. The Dow jumped 1.5 percent to 21,115.55. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 1.4 percent, to 2,395.96 in its biggest single-day gain. The Nasdaq composite index also added 1.4 percent, to 5,904.03.
QUOTABLE: “It’s better to be lucky than good. We think President Trump may be lucky in holding office when the overhang of debt and fear from the Global Financial Crisis lifts,” said Tim Condon, head of research for Asia at ING in Singapore, said in a report.
ASIA’S DAY: Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 stock index advanced 0.9 percent to 19,564.80 and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong added 0.5 percent to 23,728.07. The Kospi in South Korea climbed 0.7 percent to 2,102.65 and Australia’s S&P ASX/200 jumped 1.3 percent to 5,776.60. India’s Sensex lost 0.3 percent to 28,898.81. The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.5 percent to 3,230.03 and markets in Southeast Asia were mostly higher.
CURRENCIES: The speculation the Federal Reserve may soon raise interest rates again helped push the dollar higher. The dollar rose to 114.29 yen from 113.74 yen. The euro slipped to $1.0532 from $1.0597.
ENERGY: U.S. crude fell 23 cents to $53.60 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It shed 18 cents to $53.83 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 42 cents to $55.94 a barrel.
ELAINE KURTENBACH, AP Business Writer