BEIJING (AP) — Asian markets were mostly higher while European shares declined at the opening Tuesday as 2018 trading began and investors looked ahead to whether the record-setting U.S. equity run will last.
KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, Germany’s DAX fell 0.7 percent to 12,820.81 and France’s CAC 40 shed 0.4 percent to 5,292.70. London’s FTSE 100 retreated 0.3 percent to 7,661.83. On Friday, the FTSE 100 climbed 0.9 percent to a record while the DAX and CAC 40 each lost 0.5 percent. On Wall Street, futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index both gained 0.1 percent.
ASIA’S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.2 percent to 3,348.33 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 2 percent to 30,515.31. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. Seoul’s Kospi gained 0.5 percent to 2,479.65 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 lost four points to 6,061.30. India’s Sensex shed 0.1 percent to 33,775.00. Benchmarks in Taiwan and Singapore gained while Jakarta declined.
WALL STREET: U.S. stocks slid on 2017′s final trading day but turned in their strongest annual performance since 2013. Technology companies, banks and health care stocks accounted for much of the decline. Energy stocks fell, even as the price of U.S. crude oil surged to its highest level in more than two years. The S&P ended the day down 0.5 percent but turned in a 19.4 percent gain for the year. The Dow also fell 0.5 percent but finished 2017 up 25.1 percent.
Nasdaq recorded the biggest advance, ending the year up 28.2 percent.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “U.S. equities ending the year off the highs may not be a bad thing and surely does not distract from the year’s stellar 19-28 percent gain depending on the stock market gauge. Question in 2018 is what it will take for more of the same,” Mizuho Bank said in a report. “And if there is a New (non-bullish) theme in town this Year, investors long in equities will be less Happy; even if equity bull run is getting long in the tooth.”
CHINA MANUFACTURING: A survey by Chinese business magazine Caixin found manufacturing activity in December accelerated by its biggest margin in four months. The magazine’s purchasing managers’ index rose to 51.5 from November’s 50.8 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show activity improving. The surveyed showed exports, total output and buying activity rising.
INDIA MANUFACTURING: A survey showed India’s manufacturing activity accelerated to a five-year high in December. The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, compiled by IHS Markit, rose to 54.7 from November’s 52.6 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 are meant to show activity expanding. Indicators for total output, new orders and output prices all rose. “Prospects for local manufacturers look bright over the near term,” Shilan Shah of Capital Economics said in a report.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 16 cents to $60.58 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 48 cents on Friday to close at $60.42. Brent crude, used to price international oils, advanced 5 cents to $66.92 in London. It rose 71 cents the previous session to $66.87.
CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 112.40 yen from 112.68. The euro rose to $1.2047 from $1.2009.
GLOBAL MARKETS MIXED AS 2018 TRADING OPENS
Asian markets were mostly higher while European shares declined at the opening Tuesday as 2018 trading began and investors looked ahead to whether the record-setting U.S. equity run will last. Germany’s DAX fell 0.7 percent to 12,820.81, futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index both gained 0.1 percent, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.2 percent to 3,348.33 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 2 percent to 30,515.31.
CALIFORNIA ROLLS ITS OWN RECREATIONAL POT SALES OUT FOR 2018
From a pot shop in Santa Cruz that proclaimed “Prohibition is Over!” to one in San Diego that gave out moon landing T-shirts that declared a “giant leap for mankind,” the Golden state turned a shade greener with its first sales of recreational marijuana.
IN AUTO INDUSTRY HOME, MICHIGAN TRIES TO ACCOMMODATE BIKES
In the capital of the U.S. auto industry, drivers have been slow to accept that more Americans are choosing bicycles over cars. Now Michigan is trying to pass some of the nation’s strictest bike-safety regulations, including tough penalties on distracted motorists.
FEW COLLEGES TRACK SUICIDES, DESPITE PREVENTION INVESTMENTS
Some of the largest public universities in the U.S. aren’t tracking suicides among their students, and experts say those schools have no way to measure the success of suicide prevention services. An Associated Press analysis found that of 100 of the largest U.S. public universities, only 43 currently track suicides.
NOT-SO-HAPPY NEW YEAR FOR UK COMMUTERS AS FARES RISE
British commuters are facing stiff increases in rail fares on the first work day of the new year. Travelers Tuesday faced average fare hikes of 3.4 percent, prompting howls from activist groups and London’s mayor amid complaints of poor, unreliable rail service.