Global stocks limp after Nasdaq milestone, China in focus

AP News
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Posted: Mar 03, 2015 7:41 AM
Global stocks limp after Nasdaq milestone, China in focus

TOKYO (AP) — Global stock markets were lackluster Tuesday despite a milestone for the Nasdaq, as investors looked ahead to the release of China's growth target.

KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 was flat at 4,915.77, as was Germany's DAX, which traded at 11,408.47. Britain's FTSE 100 edged down 0.1 percent to 6,933.63. U.S. shares were set to drift lower. Dow futures and S&P 500 futures were both down 0.1 percent.

NASDAQ MILESTONE: The Nasdaq composite marked a dot-com milestone Monday, closing above 5,000 for the first time since its dot-com era peak nearly 15 years ago. The Nasdaq, which rose 0.9 percent Monday, was once a symbol of investor recklessness and self-delusion, but it has been marked by significant changes in its composition. Telecommunications stocks now represent less than 1 percent of the index, versus 12 percent in 2000. Gone also is the heavy reliance on Internet companies with little or no earnings.

CHINA MEETING: Looking ahead, investors were keeping an eye on China, whose ceremonial legislature starts its annual session on Thursday and is expected to announce a growth target for 2015. Last year's target was 7.5 percent, which China narrowly missed, posting growth of 7.4 percent that was the slowest in 24 years. There are expectations the target will be lowered to 7 percent this year as China manages a multiyear shift in its economy away from industrial led growth to more emphasis on consumers and services.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 inched down 0.1 percent to 18,815.16 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.7 percent at 24,702.78. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.4 percent to 5,933.90. Seoul's Kospi added 0.2 percent to 2,001.38. Southeast Asian markets were mixed.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 81 cents to $50.40 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 17 cents to close at $49.59 a barrel on Monday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar was trading at 119.84 yen, down from its previous close of 120.14 yen. The euro fell to $1.1159 from $1.1183.