TOKYO (AP) — Global stock markets turned lower on Friday on lingering concerns about the slump in oil prices and uncertain prospects for the global economy.
KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 was down 1 percent to 4,198.62 and Germany's DAX fell 1.1 percent to 9,366.19. Britain's FTSE 100 shed 0.6 percent to 5,939.06. U.S. shares were set to drop modestly on the open, withDow and S&P 500 futures both down 0.4 percent.
ROUGH START: Stock markets have slumped since the beginning of the year as the price of oil dived and investors fretted about a slowdown in global growth. After that mauling, many markets rebounded in the past week but the underlying concerns that stock prices are too high relative to waning world growth remain.
THE QUOTE: "The past week saw the rebound in shares and other risk assets continue," said Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital in Sydney. "Shares have seen a decent rebound from oversold levels which may have further to go. But with global growth worries remaining it's still premature to say we have bottomed."
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 1.4 percent to finish at 15,967.17. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 inched down 0.8 percent to 4,952.80. South Korea's Kospi added 0.4 percent to 1,916.24. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.4 percent to 19,285.50 and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China inched down 0.1 percent to 2,860.02. Some other regional markets, including the Philippines and Indonesia, fell, but shares were slightly higher in Taiwan and Singapore.
ENERGY: Adding to uncertainty was a fall back in oil prices, which had rallied over the last few days. Investors are hoping that a round of international talks will lead to a deal that addresses a glut in oil production, but the U.S. government reported that energy stockpiles are still growing. Benchmark U.S. crude was down 65 cents to $30.12 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, was down 47 cents at $33.81 a barrel.
UK FOCUS: The British pound was slipping as the leaders of Britain and the rest of the 28-country European Union entered a second day of talks on how to reform the country's membership in the bloc. The talks are stalled over a series of issues, including immigration rights, leading some investors to become cautious, as a potential British exit from the bloc would to hurt the pound. The currency was down 0.5 percent at $1.4273.
CURRENCIES: The euro fell to $1.1113 from $1.1144 on Thursday. The dollar fell to 112.86 yen from 113.09 yen.