Asia Stock Markets Down Amid Profit-taking
BANGKOK (AP) â¿¿ World stock markets hit a plateau Friday as many investors waited on the sidelines ahead of the release of more economic data from the U.S.
Benchmark oil remained above $105 per barrel while the dollar rose against the yen and the euro.
After solid gains recently, investors paused to evaluate the latest economic news out of the world's biggest economy showing fewer claims for unemployment. They also looked ahead to upcoming indicators. U.S. industrial production figures for February are due to be released later Friday.Applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. fell last week to 351,000 â¿¿ matching a four-year low. That's a sign that the job market is improving. In addition, manufacturing activity in New York rose to a 21-month high and in Philadelphia to a nearly one-year high. European stocks opened slightly higher. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent to 5,950.39. Germany's DAX added 0.1 percent to 7,152.44 and France's CAC-40 was nearly unchanged at 3,580.69. Wall Street appeared headed for a muted open, with Dow Jones industrial futures slightly higher at 13,176. S&P 500 futures were flat at 1,396. Asian shares took a breather following a strong run earlier this week. Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed slightly higher at 10,129.83 after morning profit-taking sent the benchmark into negative territory. The Nikkei has clocked a week of gains largely due to the yen's retreat from record highs against the dollar. Mainland Chinese shares advanced with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gaining 1.3 percent to 2,404.74. Shares in furniture and wine producers, hotels, travel and food-related companies led the advance, while shares in real estate and financial companies weakened. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.2 percent to 21,317.85 and South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.5 percent to 2,034.44. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was slightly down at 4,276.20. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia fell.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV