Asian shares rise, Europe mixed before central banks meeting


TOKYO — Asian shares were mostly higher but European trading began mixed Friday as market players watched for comments at a central banks’ annual meeting later in the global day.

KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 edged down 0.2 per cent in early trading to 5,102.80, while Germany’s DAX inched down 0.1 per cent to 12,167.62. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.3 per cent to 7,427.10. U.S. shares were set to be little changed, with Dow futures at 21,777, inching down less than 0.1 per cent. S&P 500 futures stood at 2,440.20.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged up 0.5 per cent to finish at 19,452.61. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was little changed at 5,743.90. South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.1 per cent at 2,378.51. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.2 per cent to 27,852.36, while the Shanghai Composite index was up 1.8 per cent at 3,331.52.

THE FED: One event catching market attention is a symposium of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi are both expected to speak at the meeting Friday, although few analysts expect major surprises.

THE QUOTE: “Although market participants don’t expect Draghi to reveal an exit plan to end the ECB’s massive bond-purchasing program during this meeting, any clues as to his view of inflation and economic development will be closely watched to gauge the likelihood of tapering by end of this year,” said Margaret Yang Yan, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 33 cents to $47.76 a barrel. It fell 98 cents to $47.43 per barrel Thursday. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 30 cents to $51.96 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.67 yen from 109.22 yen late Thursday in Asia. The euro fell to $1.1785 from $1.1801.

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