BEIJING - Global stock markets were mixed Wednesday after US shares rose on encouraging jobs data while worries about the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and twin hurricane disasters eased.
KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, London's FTSE 100 declined 0.5 percent to 7,361.08 points and France's CAC 40 was off just under 0.1 percent at 5,205.08. German's DAX lost just under 0.1 percent to 12,517.85. On Tuesday, the CAC 40 rose 0.6 percent and the DAX gained 0.4 percent while the FTSE 100 slipped 0.2 percent. On Wall Street, futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index were down 0.1 percent.
ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 0.4 percent to 19,865.82 and the Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.1 percent to 3,384.15. Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.3 percent to 27,894.08 and Seoul's Kospi shed 0.2 percent to 2,360.18. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 was little-changed at 5,744.30. India's Sensex gained 0.3 percent to 32,363.73. Malaysia and Manila advanced while New Zealand and Taiwan retreated.
WALL STREET: Banks rose for a second day and retailers gained after the Labor Department said numbers of job openings and new hires both grew in July. That left investors hopeful people will shop and spend more. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.3 percent to a record 2,496.48. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.3 percent to 22,118.86, a fraction of a point higher than its previous record. The Nasdaq composite picked up 0.3 percent, to 6,454.28.
ANALYST'S TAKE: "Financial markets seem to have abruptly stopped worrying about the end of the world, with stocks soaring again, bond yields pushing higher, and safe haven currencies such as the JPY selling off," said Rob Carnell of ING in a report. "It won't last. But until the next risk off event appears, we might as well enjoy it and can focus back on the underlying macro story." A potential trigger is US threats to restrict Chinese access to the American financial system, said Carnell. "Were this US threat to be carried out, we are fairly sure that China would retaliate in ways that would also hurt the US economically."
STORM DAMAGE: Americans counted the cost of hurricanes Harvey and Irma but worries about further economic disruption eased. Estimates of damage from each storm topped US$100 billion in wrecked houses, petrochemical plants and crops of citrus and vegetables.
APPLE: Apple announced its newest iPhones. The iPhone 8, out Sept 22, will be able to shoot pictures with better colors and less distortion. The iPhone X has an edge-to-edge screen and can be unlocked with facial recognition. The iPhone is the source of most of Apple's revenue, and some investors worry supply constraints will slow down sales. Apple closed down 64 cents at US$160.86.
ENERGY: Benchmark US crude rose 29 cents to US$48.52 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 16 cents on Tuesday to close at US$48.23. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 27 cents to US$54.54 in London. It rose 43 cents the previous session to US$53.84.
CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 110.07 yen from Tuesday's 110.15 yen. The euro gained to US$1.1980 from US$1.1966.