WORLD FI­NAN­CIAL MAR­KETS

Texarkana Gazette - - MARKET REPORT -

SEOUL, South Korea—Global stocks turned lower on Thurs­day as in­vestors be­came cau­tious after a days-long run pushed U.S. in­dexes to record highs.

KEEP­ING SCORE: Bri­tain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.5 per­cent at 7,268 while France’s CAC 40 fell 0.4 per­cent to 4,903. Ger­many’s DAX slipped 0.2 per­cent to 11,765. Fu­tures au­gured a tepid start on Wall Street. Dow and S&P fu­tures were down 0.2 per­cent.

US ECON­OMY: On Wed­nes­day, re­ports of stronger re­tail sales and in­fla­tion showed that the U.S. econ­omy was stronger than ex­pected. Con­sumer prices rose 2.5 per­cent in Jan­uary from a year ear­lier, the high­est rate since March 2012. The data give the Fed­eral Re­serve more en­cour­age­ment to raise in­ter­est rates, and econ­o­mists said the pos­si­bil­ity is in­creas­ing that it may hap­pen at the cen­tral bank’s next meet­ing in March. While higher rates can weigh on growth, the con­fi­dence pushed U.S. stock in­dexes to new highs.

COR­PO­RATE EARN­INGS: Shares in con­sumer goods com­pa­nies were un­der pres­sure after food and drinks gi­ant Nes­tle said its earn­ings were weighed down last year by weak prices. Nes­tle shares were down over 2 per­cent in Switzer­land after it missed its growth tar­get and said it would have to step up its cost cut­ting

pro­gram.

SAM­SUNG: Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics Vice Chair­man Lee Jae-yong at­tended a court hear­ing in a bid to avoid his ar­rest for a sec­ond time. South Korean pros­e­cu­tors in­ves­ti­gat­ing a mas­sive cor­rup­tion scan­dal that led to the im­peach­ment of Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye sus­pect that the Sam­sung heir bribed the pres­i­dent and her friend to win gov­ern­ment fa­vors, an al­le­ga­tion that Sam­sung de­nies. In­vestors weren’t im­me­di­ately con­cerned by the pos­si­ble ar­rest. Shares of Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics rose 0.8 per­cent to 1,901,000 won in Seoul.

ASIA’S DAY: Asian mar­kets closed mixed. Ja­pan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.5 per­cent to 19,347.53 while South Korea’s Kospi edged down 0.1 per­cent to 2,081.84. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng in­dex gained 0.5 per­cent to 24,107.70 and Shang­hai Com­pos­ite In­dex rose 0.5 per­cent to 3,229.62. Aus­tralia’s S&P/ASX 200 inched up 0.1 per­cent to 5,816.30. Stocks in Tai­wan and In­done­sia were lower but in Sin­ga­pore and the Philip­pines they were higher.

CUR­REN­CIES: The dol­lar fell to 113.61 yen from 114.02 while the euro strength­ened to $1.0635 from $1.0615.

OIL: Bench­mark U.S. crude gained 27 cents to $53.38 per bar­rel. The con­tract fin­ished 9 cents lower on Wed­nes­day. Brent crude, the in­ter­na­tional stan­dard, was up 37 cents at $56.12 a bar­rel in London.

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