Shares fell in early European trading on Wednesday, following a mixed day in Asia. Comments by China’s central bank governor reaffirming Beijing’s resolve to carry through on financial reforms buoyed shares in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX lost 0.5 percent to 12,330.13 and the CAC 40 in France dropped 0.4 percent to 5,284.59. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged 0.1 percent lower to 7,256.71. The future for the Dow Jones industrial average sank 0.7 percent to 24,185.00 and the future for the S&P 500 lost 0.3 percent to 2,633.70, auguring early losses on Wall Street.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.5 percent to 21,687.10 and the Kospi in South Korea declined 0.3 percent to 2,444.22. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.6 percent to 30,897.71 and the Shanghai Composite index surged 0.6 percent to 3,208.08. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 dipped 0.5 percent to 5,828.70. Shares rose in Taiwan and in most Southeast Asian markets.
CHINA UPDATE: China’s central bank governor, Yi Gang, outlined plans for further opening the country’s financial markets at a business conference in southern China. State media reported that Beijing will allow foreign investment in trust, financial leasing, auto finance, money broking and consumer finance sectors, among other changes due within this year. Yi said Beijing will “substantially expand the business scope of foreign banks,” and impose no restrictions on the business scope of joint-venture securities companies, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
ANALYSTS’ VIEWPOINT: In his international debut as China’s new central bank governor, Yi “has sent a clear signal today … that China is serious about its commitment to opening up the economy and carrying out reforms in the financial markets,” Betty Wang and David Qu of ANZ Research said in a commentary. “Governor Yi reassured the markets about China’s determination, not only to reform the domestic monetary policy framework but also to open up the financial sector further.”
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 25 cents to $65.26 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 3.3 percent to $65.51 a barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 30 cents to $70.74 per barrel. It added 3.5 percent to $71.04 a barrel in London. Oil prices have yoyo’d recently as investors wonder if the trade dispute will hamper global economic growth.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 107.01 yen from 107.20. The euro rose to $1.2371 from $1.2357.