Markets eke out gains despite risk concerns over attacks

AP News
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Posted: Dec 20, 2016 8:56 AM
Markets eke out gains despite risk concerns over attacks

LONDON (AP) — European stock markets eked out some modest gains Tuesday though the truck attack in Germany that killed at least 12 people and the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey kept investor appetite for risk in check.

KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.3 percent at 7,040 while Germany's DAX rose 0.3 percent to 11,455. The CAC-40 in France was 0.6 percent higher at 4,850. U.S. stocks were poised for solid gains at the open with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.3 percent.

ATTACKS: On a quiet day for economic news, markets have been trying to gauge the implications of the bout of attacks in Europe. These type of events can weigh on sentiment in stock markets as they have the potential to fuel geopolitical risk.

ANALYST TAKE: "These events come after geopolitical concerns were already coming back into the spotlight following the seizure of a US drone in the South China Sea last week," said Craig Nicol at Deutsche Bank.

BANK OF JAPAN: Japan's central bank kept its current monetary policy unchanged, saying the "moderate recovery" of the world's third-largest economy was on track. Japan's exports, its engine for growth, showed signs of recovery thanks to the yen's depreciation and the economic recovery in the U.S. "The Bank of Japan shows no sign of movement toward a taper of its stimulus programs," said William Adams of PNC Financial Services. "Until Japan shows signs of a sustained and self-reinforcing cycle of rising wages and consumer prices, the Bank of Japan will leave policy in its current, highly expansionary stance."

ASIA'S DAY: Asian markets closed mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 clocked another fresh high for the year, advancing 0.5 percent to 19,494.53, while South Korea's Kospi added 0.2 percent to 2,041.94. But Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.5 percent to 21,729.06 and the Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China dropped 0.5 percent to 3,102.88. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia gained 0.5 percent to 5,591.10.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 34 cents to $52.34 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 53 cents to $55.45 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The euro was down 0.3 percent at $1.0367 while the dollar was up 0.8 percent at 117.99 yen.