HONG KONG (AP) — Japanese stocks jumped on a weaker yen and a Pokemon-powered rally in Nintendo shares but other world benchmarks were mostly lower Tuesday as investors awaited more corporate earnings and a European Central Bank policy meeting.
KEEPING SCORE: European stocks fell in early trading, with France’s CAC 40 sliding 0.9 percent to 2,153.60 and Germany’s DAX shedding 1.1 percent to 9,949.54. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.5 percent to 6,663.98. U.S. stocks were poised to open lower, with Dow futures dipping 0.2 percent to 18,420.00 and broader S&P 500 futures down 0.3 percent to 2,153.60.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 1.4 percent to end at 16,723.31 as the market had a delayed reaction to the yen’s weakness after it reopened following a holiday. Other Asian indexes slid, with South Korea’s Kospi losing 0.2 percent to 2,016.89, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sliding 0.6 percent to 21,673.20 and the Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China shedding 0.2 percent to 3,036.60. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.1 percent to 5,451.30.
POKEMON POP: Nintendo Co. shares surged another 14 percent thanks to the wildly popular “Pokemon Go” game. While the Japanese game maker isn’t a component of the Nikkei index, its rally helped lift broader investor sentiment. The Kyoto-based company accounted for about one in four shares that changed hands on the Tokyo exchange’s main board. Nintendo’s market capitalization has now doubled since the launch of the augmented reality game on July 6.
GLOBAL OUTLOOK: Investors are anticipating a slew of events this week that they’ll assess to get a better read on the state of the world economy and what it might mean for stock markets. British data set for release starting later Tuesday will provide an update on how the country’s economy is doing after the Brexit vote. A slew of U.S. corporate earnings are also expected throughout the week, while the ECB’s policy rate decision is Thursday, with markets expected to be volatile ahead of the announcement. Australia’s central bank, meanwhile, released minutes of its July meeting showing that officials downplayed the risk of Britain’s Brexit vote to the world economy while noting that inflation remained weak, which analysts believe could open the way for policy easing.
ANALYST VIEWPOINT: “The market has put two and two together after release of the more detailed (Reserve Bank of Australia) minutes and concluded that the probability of an August rate cut has increased,” Ric Spooner of CMC Markets in Sydney said in a report. However, he added that “the stock market is struggling to get enthusiastic. This reflects a degree of caution as traders assess the odds of further gains.”
SOFTBANK SOFTNESS: Shares in Japanese technology company Softbank Group Corp. slumped 10 percent one day after it announced that it is buying Britain’s ARM Holdings for 24.3 billion pounds ($32 billion) in a bid to expand into the “Internet of Things” — or connected home devices. Investors were apparently unhappy that SoftBank is paying a 43 percent premium to ARM’s closing share price last week.
CURRENCIES: The dollar edged lower to 106.08 yen from 106.22 in late trading Monday but was still hovering near its highest level in nearly a month. A weaker yen helps shares of Japan’s big export manufacturers. The euro dipped to $1.1069 from $1.1070.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. oil futures slipped. Crude fell 17 cents to $45.07 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 71 cents to settle at $45.24 per barrel on Monday. Brent crude, the standard for oil sold internationally, fell 12 cents to $46.84 a barrel in London.
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