TOKYO (AP) — World stocks were mostly higher Tuesday as investors awaited central bank meetings later this week in Europe and Japan as well as U.S. employment figures. The dollar extended its rally against the euro and the yen on expectations the Fed will be the first major central bank to raise interest rates.
KEEPING SCORE: By early afternoon in Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 gained almost 0.1 percent to 6,827.47 while Germany’s DAX rose 0.6 percent to 9,535.23. The CAC-40 in France was up 0.3 percent to 4,390.49. Futures augured gains on Wall Street after being closed Monday for a public holiday. Dow and S&P 500 futures were both up 0.1 percent.
U.S. ECONOMY: Traders will be focusing on the U.S. employment report for August due Friday. Investor confidence over the U.S. economy has risen following several months of strong growth in hiring and corporate profits and a series of major corporate acquisitions.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.2 percent to 15,668.60 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was flat at 24,750.10. China’s Shanghai Composite jumped 1.4 percent to 2,266.05 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.5 percent to 5,658.50. Southeast Asian stock markets rose while South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.8 percent to 2,051.58.
DOLLAR RIDES, EURO SLIDES: The dollar was boosted by expectations that the Fed is preparing to raise interest rates, while the euro continued its summer slide by hitting a one-year low against the U.S. currency around $1.3110. It is weighed by speculation that the European Central Bank could inject more money into the eurozone economy, a move that would dilute the currency. The dollar also gained against the yen, rising to 104.88 yen from 104.35 yen late Monday.
CHINA CHILL: Indicators such as power generation, steel output and property sales point to continued weakness in the world’s No. 2 economy, which has raised expectations of additional stimulus and boosted Chinese stocks. But Hong Kong, which has heavy exposure to the troubled Chinese property market, was lower. It also has been shaken by rising friction between China’s communist leaders and local protesters demanding a direct say in the choice of Hong Kong’s leader.
THE QUOTE: “We still expect China’s overall economy to cool toward the year’s end, and to stay weak through 2015,” says Wang Tao, an economist at UBS in Hong Kong.
ENERGY: U.S. benchmark crude for October delivery was down 86 cents at $95.10 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.