Tepid start to the week in markets as Trump remains in focus

AP News
Posted: Feb 06, 2017 7:46 AM
Tepid start to the week in markets as Trump remains in focus

LONDON (AP) — European stock markets traded in narrow ranges Monday amid a dearth of economic data and as investors gauged the fallout from President Donald Trump's ban on refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, France's CAC 40 slipped 0.1 percent in early trading to 4,818 while Germany's DAX fell 0.5 percent to 11,594. Britain's FTSE 100 bucked the trend to trade 0.1 percent higher at 7,196. U.S. shares were set for a tepid start, with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures down 0.1 percent.

TRUMP WATCH: Trump's early acts as president have been shaping markets for the past couple of weeks. On Friday, Trump directed the treasury secretary to look for potential changes to the Dodd-Frank law, which reshaped financial regulations after the 2008-09 financial crisis. Investors applauded that move but remain uncertain about the future impact of other policies. Over the weekend, the U.S. immigration ban on refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries was blocked by a federal judge and an appeals court turned down a Justice Department request to set that judgment aside. The White House said it expects the courts to restore executive order, which was founded on a claim of national security.

ANALYST TAKE: "The unpredictable nature of Trump makes it very difficult to anticipate what his next moves will be, as evidenced by his actions a week ago on immigration," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. "This may ensure for now at least that while markets have remained volatile, a more cautious approach will be adopted during the bedding in period."

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.3 percent to 18,976.71. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost earlier gains and inched down 0.1 percent to 5,615.60. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.2 percent to 2,077.66. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 1.0 percent at 23,348.24, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.5 percent to 3,156.98. Benchmarks were also higher in Taiwan and Singapore.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 13 cents to $53.96 a barrel in New York. It added 29 cents to $53.83 a barrel Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 10 cents to $56.91 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The euro was down 0.5 percent at $1.0730 while the dollar slipped 0.3 percent to 112.32 yen.