Global shares mixed as eyes turn from trade to impeachment
TOKYO – Global shares were mixed Wednesday as investor optimism fades about last week's U.S.-China trade breakthrough and all eyes turn to U.S. politics, where President Donald Trump is on the cusp of being impeached by the House.
According to a tally compiled by The Associated Press,Trump is on track to be formally charged Wednesday by a House majority that he abused his power and obstructed Congress. Trump would bejust the third U.S. president to be impeached.
If Trump is impeached, a trial in the Republican-held Senate would follow, where most expect he would be acquitted.
“Republicans are certain to stay loyal to the President and the impeachment process is not expected to yield any major market reactions,” wrote Edward Moya, analyst with Oanda.
France's CAC 40 moved from small gains to losses in midday trading at 5,967, while Germany's DAX slipped 0.3% to 13,249. Britain's FTSE 100 edged up 0.1% to 7,532.
U.S. trading was sluggish but shares were set to drift slightly higher with Dow futures inching up less than 0.1% to 28,295. S&P 500 futures were also slightly higher at 3,196.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.6% to finish at 23,934.43. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained nearly 0.1% to 6,851.40. South Korea's Kospi inched down to 2,194.76. Hong Kong's Hang Seng recouped earlier losses and edged up 0.2% to 27,884.21, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.1% to 3,017.04. Shares were higher in Thailand, India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Wall Street extended its milestone-shattering run Tuesday, nudging the major indexes to record highs.
The S&P 500 had its fifth gain in a row, adding less than 0.1% to 3,192.52. With less than three weeks left in 2019, the index is up 27.4% for the year. The benchmark index and the Nasdaq closed at new highs for the fourth straight day, with the Nasdaq climbing 9.13 points or 0.1% to 8,823.36. .
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 31.27 points, or 0.1%, to 28,267.16, also a record high, its second milestone this week.
A Federal Reserve meeting last week also spurred buying after investors saw signals from Chairman Jerome Powell that interest rates will stay low for a while.
“A lot of the strength that we're seeing is just a continuation of the ‘Phase 1’ U.S.-China deal from last week and some potential clarity around Brexit,” said Jamie Lavin, global investment specialist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank.
The U.S. and China agreed last week to cut tariffs on some of each others' goods and postpone other tariff threats. The interim trade deal has helped ease a key source of uncertainty for investors heading into next year.
The latest batch of economic data also helps buttress traders’ confidence in the health of the U.S. economy. In August, fears that the U.S. was headed for recession roiled markets.
The Fed said Tuesday that industrial production and manufacturing were stronger last month than economists expected, though they are weaker than a year ago. U.S. housing data were also stronger than expected.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 26 cents to $60.68 a barrel. It rose 73 cents to $60.94 per barrel Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 9 cents to $66.01 per barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.56 yen from 109.49 yen on Tuesday. The euro slipped to $1.1125 from $1.1151.
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