World stocks up after S&P new high; Nikkei slips

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 | Finance News

BANGKOK (AP) — World stock markets were mostly higher Tuesday, brushing off tepid Japanese manufacturing data a day after the Standard & Poor's 500 index closed at another all-time high.

Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.1 percent to 6,465.17. Germany's DAX advanced 0.7 percent to 7,925.09. France's CAC-40 dropped 0.1 percent to 3,863.25.

Wall Street was headed for a mixed opening, with Dow Jones futures marginally higher at 14,752. S&P 500 futures fell 0.1 percent to 1,587.

Asian stocks powered higher after the release of better-than-expected pending U.S. homes sales for March pushed the Standard & Poor's 500 to a new high Monday. Wages and spending in the U.S. also rose last month. European shares finished higher Monday after Italy formed a new coalition government.

"The U.S. is hitting new highs almost every day now and improved sentiment in the eurozone is helping overall markets across the board," said Jackson Wong, vice president of Tanrich Securities in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.7 percent to 22,737.01. South Korea's Kospi advanced 1.2 percent to 1,963.95. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 1.3 percent to 5,191.20. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore, New Zealand and the Philippines also advanced.

However, Japanese data showing only modest improvement in manufacturing dampened sentiment there. Factory output rose 0.2 percent in March, its fourth straight monthly increase. The number fell short of expectations and analysts continue to believe the country's economic recovery remains relatively weak. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.2 percent to close at 13,860.86.

"While export revenues have been boosted strongly by yen depreciation and consumers' confidence has also jumped, the recovery in export volumes and actual consumer spending remained comparatively slow," analysts at DBS Bank Ltd. in Singapore said in a commentary.

Among individual stocks, Australia's ANZ Banking Group Ltd. rose 5.8 percent after the company announced a rise in half-year profit.

Sentiment has been boosted in recent days by expectations that the European Central Bank will reduce interest rates on Thursday.

The Federal Reserve concludes a policy meeting Wednesday and is not expected to make changes in its super-loose monetary policy. On Friday, U.S. nonfarm payrolls data for April will be published, a key gauge of employment in the world's No. 1 economy.

Benchmark oil for June delivery was up 3 cents to $94.53 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.50 to finish at $94.50 on the Nymex on Monday.

In currencies, the euro fell to $1.3059 from $1.3097. The dollar fell to 97.65 yen from 98.01 yen.


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