SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Global stocks and oil prices were higher Friday as investors monitored OPEC’s discussion on increasing crude production. Caution remained, however, over trade disputes between China and the U.S. as well as between the U.S. and Europe that could hurt corporate profits and jobs.
KEEPING SCORE: Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 1 percent to 7,630 and France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.9 percent to 5,361. Germany’s DAX gained 0.4 percent to 12,561. Futures augured gains on Wall Street. S&P and Dow futures both advanced 0.4 percent.
OIL: Prices of oil rose as OPEC met Friday to consider increasing their output by 1 million barrels a day. There is disagreement within OPEC about the scale of the increase, suggesting supply could remain ample. Benchmark U.S. crude gained $1.02 to $66.56 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard for oil prices, rose $1.51 to $74.56 per barrel in London.
TRADE TENSIONS: The U.S. is to begin taxing $34 billion in Chinese goods in two weeks while Beijing has vowed to retaliate with its own tariffs on U.S. soybeans and other farm products. The European Union is putting tariffs on $3.4 billion in American products as of Friday in response to the U.S. move to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from around the globe. Brexit is also worrying companies, with planemaker Airbus warning that it could reconsider it place in Britain, where it employes 14,000, if the country does not soon reach a deal to clarify its trade relations with the EU.
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ASIA’S DAY: Some Asian markets gained following heavy losses on previous days but finished lower than a week ago. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index edged up 0.2 percent to 29,338.70 while Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.8 percent to 22,516.83. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.5 percent to 2,889.76 but remained more than 5 percent below the start of the week. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.8 percent to 2,357.22 but finished the week nearly 3 percent lower. Australia’s S&P-ASX 200 inched down 0.1 percent to 6,225.20. Stocks in Taiwan, Singapore and Southeast Asian countries were lower.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “Heightened global trade tensions remain a theme going into the end of the week,” said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 110.16 yen from 109.99 yen while the euro strengthened to $1.1650 from 1.1600.