May 19, 2017
Global stocks are meandering but mostly higher, following an overnight recovery on Wall Street, though investor optimism was tempered by U.S. political uncertainties and a crisis brewing in Brazil
LONDON — Stock markets around the world recovered their poise Friday following a dramatic few days when traders fretted about the political problems afflicting President Donald Trump in the U.S.
KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, France's CAC 40 was up 0.5 percent at 5,317 while Germany's DAX rose 0.2 percent to 12,617. Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.4 percent at 7,465. U.S. shares were poised for a solid opening, too, with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.3 percent.
TRUMP FACTOR: Wall Street has driven Friday's gains in Europe. U.S. shares rallied Thursday, partly cheered by strong jobs data, following their worst drop in eight months the day before. Fears have been growing that given his political troubles Trump may struggle to push through his economic agenda including an array of tax cuts.
ANALYST TAKE: "This week has seen an abrupt return of market volatility after a period of super-low volatility and a long period of minimal market corrections," said Neil MacKinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital. "The decline has less to do with traditional fundamental drivers, such as interest rate/yield differentials, but perhaps more to do with declining confidence on the part of foreign investors in White House policy which has become more unpredictable and less certain."
BRAZIL IN FOCUS: Investors are also keeping a close watch on developments in Brazil, where President Michel Temer is facing calls for his resignation amid allegations of corruption. The country's main stock index, the Ibovespa, plunged nearly 9 percent on Thursday, while the Brazilian real slid around 8 percent.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.2 percent to close at 19,590.76. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down 0.2 percent to 5,727.40. South Korea's Kospi added nearly 0.1 percent to 2,288.48. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.3 percent to 25,203.33. The Shanghai Composite was little changed, edging up less than 0.1 percent to 3,090.63. India's Sensex was down 0.2 percent to 30,374.99.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil futures added 60 cents to $49.95 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price international oils, climbed 68 cents to $53.20 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The euro spiked 0.7 percent to $1.1182 while the dollar fell 0.2 percent to 111.266 yen.