Global Stocks Mixed as Investors Digest U.S., Japan Data

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -
A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Global stocks were mixed on Thursday as investors digest a mixed bag of economic reports from strong U.S. factory data to weak machinery orders in Japan.

Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent to 7,743.90 while France’s CAC 40 rose 0.4 percent to 5,586.96. Germany’s DAX added 0.2 percent to 13,022.34. Futures augured a sluggish start on Wall Street. S&P futures dipped 0.1 percent while Dow futures remained flat.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index finished 0.5 percent higher at 22,838.37 but the rest of the region was mostly in the red. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.5 percent at 30,942.15 and the Kospi in South Korea closed 0.5 percent lower at 2,448.45. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 dipped 0.2 percent to 6,094.30 and the Shanghai Composite index fell 0.5 percent to 3,154.28. Shares were mixed in Southeast Asia.

The Federal Reserve said factory output rose 0.5 percent in April after a flat reading in March while a broader measure of industrial production, which includes mining and utilities, rose 0.7 percent. The figures suggest that business spending may be picking up after lagging earlier this year. Investors shrugged off data showing Japan’s machinery orders fell nearly 4 percent in March from the month before, as analysts said demand for equipment remains strong due to tight capacity levels.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 60 cents to $72.09 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, it finished at $71.49 a barrel, up 18 cents. Brent crude, used to price international oil, gained 64 cents to $79.92 per barrel in London. It rose 85 cents to close at $79.28 a barrel in the previous session.

The dollar rose to 110.61 yen from 110.39 yen while the euro fell to $1.1786 from $1.1809.