European and Asian stock market traded as investors tracked falling oil prices

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LONDON: European and Asian stock markets traded mixed Thursday as investors tracked falling oil prices.

Tokyo was shut owing to a public holiday in Japan, while Shanghai closed lower and Hong Kong rose. In Europe, London fell as euro zone indices headed higher. Around 0945 GMT, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 0.3 percent.

Frankfurt’s DAX 30 gained 0.6 percent and the Paris CAC 40 climbed 0.7 percent, compared with the close on Wednesday.

“The FTSE 100 under performed equity benchmarks in Germany and France as post-Brexit concerns highlighted risks for the domestic economy,” said Jasper Lawler, analyst at traders CMC Markets.

Citing a weaker outlook for the world economy following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, the International Energy Agency on Thursday cut its oil demand growth forecast for 2017. That weighed on oil prices with benchmark contracts falling in London and New York.

But the IEA added that oil oversupply, which has been weighing on the crude price in recent months, would disappear in the latter part of 2016.

In foreign exchange meanwhile, dollar gains were capped as traders await clearer signals on the timing of a possible US interest rate hike, with expectations that the Fed will move cautiously.

Figures released Tuesday showed China’s producer prices fell in July at their slowest rate in nearly two years, fuelling hopes the end of a painful slowdown could be in sight for the world’s second largest economy.

Shanghai’s main stocks index fell 0.5 percent on Thursday, dragged down by falls to share prices in small companies. Elsewhere, South Korea opted to keep its key interest rate unchanged at 1.25 percent but the central bank governor held out the prospect of another reduction?

US department store chain Macy’s and Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba surged in opening trade Thursday, lifting Wall Street stocks. Macy’s rose 15.3 percent after announcing plans to shut 100 of its 728 stores and bolster investment in online shopping as it reported a sharp drop in second-quarter profits.

Source: AFP

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