Asian stock markets mixed; Europe flat

TOKYO — Global shares are mixed after China reported disappointing trade data for July, with little else to drive trading sentiment.

KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 was flat at 5,209.20, while Germany’s DAX added less than 0.1 per cent to 12,261.92. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell less than 0.1 per cent to 7,521.44. U.S. shares were also set to meander, with Dow futures unchanged at 22,060.00, and S&P futures inching down less than 0.1 per cent at 2,476.20.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.3 per cent to finish at 19,996.01, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5 per cent to 5,743.80. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.2 per cent to 2,394.73. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.6 per cent to 27,854.91, while the Shanghai Composite inched up nearly 0.1 per cent, to 3,281.87. India’s Sensex tumbled 0.7 per cent to 32,035.02 and shares in Southeast Asia were mixed.

CHINA TRADE: China’s trade growth weakened in July in an ominous sign for its growth and for global demand. Customs data showed growth in exports slowed to 7.2 per cent from June’s 11.3 per cent. Imports rose 11 per cent, down from the previous month’s 17.2 per cent. Forecasters have warned Chinese economic growth is likely to slow this year, dampening demand for foreign goods, as controls imposed on bank lending to slow a rise in debt take hold.

THE QUOTE: “The upshot is that, despite the uptick at the end of Q2, trade growth now appears to be on a downward trend. In particular, the sharp decline in import growth since the start of the year suggests that domestic demand is softening,” Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a commentary.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 16 cents to $49.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 19 cents, or 0.4 per cent, to $49.39 per barrel Monday in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 18 cents to $52.55 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The U.S. dollar fell to 110.58 yen from 110.74 yen late Monday in Asia. The euro rose to $1.1809 from $1.1792.


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