Europe stocks struggle, Asia rises on China data
Beijing • European stock markets struggled on Monday and Wall Street was expected to dip on the open amid ongoing concerns about earnings and the economic impact of sanctions on Russia. Asian indexes closed higher, however, after China reported strong corporate profits.
KEEPING SCORE: In morning European trade, France's CAC 40 rose 0.2 percent to 4,337.81 while Germany's DAX shed 0.2 percent to 9,620.98. Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 6,792.45. Futures augured a muted session on Wall Street. Dow and S&P 500 futures were both down 0.1 percent. On Friday, the Dow lost 0.7 percent while the S&P was off 0.5 percent.
ASIA'S DAY: China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index surged 2.4 percent to 2,177.95. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 added 0.5 percent to 15,529.40 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.9 percent at 24,428.63. Investors were mainly buoyed by news that profits at China's industrial enterprises soared 17.9 percent in June over a year earlier. The figure boosted confidence that the world's No. 2 economy has stabilized after a slowdown.
RUSSIA TENSIONS: Sentiment in Europe was more muted amid tensions between Western powers and Russia. On Monday, an international court ordered Russia to pay over $50 billion to a group of investors for the expropriation of now-defunct oil company Yukos. The ruling comes as European countries are considering imposing sanctioning trade in defense, technology and other goods and restricting access to European capital markets for Russian state-owned companies.
ANALYST TAKE: "There is no sign that geopolitics is de-escalating, which should benefit safe-haven assets," while the "macro backdrop in Asia should be one of improvement," said Credit Agricole CIB in a report.
STOCK TO WATCH: Shares of Nissan Motor Co. rose 0.8 percent ahead of the automaker's quarterly earnings report. After the close of trading in Tokyo, it said April-June fiscal first quarter earnings rose nearly 37 percent to $1.1 billion) a positive start to a slew of Japanese earnings this week.
US OUTLOOK: Traders were looking ahead to U.S. economic data due out this week. Second-quarter gross domestic product due to be reported Wednesday is expected to show growth picking up. Forecasters expect employment on Friday to show the United States added 235,000 to 255,000 new jobs in July.
CURRENCIES, OIL: The euro edged up to $1.3436 from the previous session's $1.3431. The dollar rose to 101.85 yen from 101.83 yen. The price of benchmark U.S. crude for September delivery declined 72 cents to $101.37 per barrel.