SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Global stock markets mostly fell on Thursday after consecutive losses on Wall Street, while oil prices dropped further below their lowest level since the global financial crisis.
KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.4 percent to 6,100.37, while France's CAC 40 fell 0.1 percent to 4,633.74. Germany's DAX dropped 0.1 percent to 10,581.10. Futures suggested Wall Street would rise after three straight days of losses. Dow futures rose 0.2 percent while S&P 500 futures gained 0.3 percent.
DATA WATCH: Investors are looking ahead to figures later in the day on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. That will give investors the latest update on the U.S. job market a week before a Federal Reserve meeting that is expected to raise interest rates from a record low. In last Thursday's report, more people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits, but the levels remain near historic lows that indicate a healthy job market.
ENERGY: The price of oil fell further below its low from Feb. 13, 2009, when the global economy was deep in crisis. Benchmark U.S. crude was down 0.3 percent at $37.04 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after falling 35 cents to close at $37.16 in New York on Wednesday.
GLENCORE: Shares in mining giant Glencore rallied 12 percent after the company said it was ahead of schedule in reducing debt thanks to asset sales, production cuts, and cost reductions. Like many mining companies, Glencore is struggling with a slump this year in commodity prices due to slower growth in China.
CENTRAL BANKS: Earlier, New Zealand's central bank cut interest rates for the fourth time in six months by a quarter percentage point to 2.5 percent. But it also signaled that it is not planning further cuts as inflation is expected to rise. Analysts said it was the latest sign that the central banks in developed countries, from Europe to Japan and the United States, are done with monetary easing.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 finished 1.3 percent lower at 19,046.55 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.5 percent to 21,704.61. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.8 percent to 5,037.70. China's Shanghai Composite index dropped 0.5 percent to 3,455.50. Stocks in New Zealand, Taiwan and Singapore were lower but South Korea's Kospi finished 0. 2 percent higher at 1,952.07.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 121.36 yen from 121.59 in the previous trading session. The euro fell to $1.0951 from $1.1023.