SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Global stock indexes were mostly higher on Friday, putting them on track to close out the year with strong gains.
KEEPING SCORE: Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.9 percent to a record high of 7,687.77, meaning it gained 7.6 percent during 2017 despite heightened Brexit uncertainties. The fall in Britain’s pound has largely helped push up the FTSE 100, which is dominated by multinationals that make most of their money outside the country. Germany’s DAX, however, fell 0.5 percent to 12,917.64, leaving it with a gain of 12.8 percent this year. France’s CAC 40 was still trading, down 0.1 percent to 5,333.
Futures augured an upbeat start on Wall Street. Dow futures added 0.3 percent while S&P futures rose 0.4 percent.
ASIA’S DAY: Most Asian markets finished with modest gains. Japan’s Nikkei 225 finished 0.1 percent lower at 22,764.94. The Tokyo benchmark index rose 19 percent in 2017. China’s Shanghai Composite Index added 0.3 percent to 3,307.17. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.2 percent to 29,919.15. But Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 went south. It fell 0.4 percent to 6,065.10. South Korean stock markets closed on Thursday.
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ANALYST’S TAKE: Looking back at the year of 2017, “markets have been disturbingly sanguine about risks,” such as North Korean nuclear threats and the U.S. government’s new foreign policy to put American interest first, said Mizuho Bank Ltd. in a daily commentary.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 24 cents to $60.08 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 20 cents on Thursday. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, gained 13 cents to $66.57 per barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar declined to 112.58 yen from 112.88 yen while the euro strengthened to $1.1994 from $1.1945.
BITCOIN: The price of bitcoin dipped 1.4 percent to $14,184 by early afternoon in Europe, according to the tracking site CoinDesk. The virtual currency has been highly volatile in recent weeks, hitting a record high before sliding sharply last week.