AP Business Writer
TOKYO (AP) – World shares were mixed Tuesday, with European benchmarks gaining after a strong overnight lead from Wall Street despite an explosion in Manchester, England, that killed at least 22 people and was being treated as a terror attack. Oil prices fell back after Monday’s rally and shares in Japan and China declined.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX gained 0.4 percent to 12,673.54 while the CAC 40 of France advanced 0.5 percent to 5,350.01. The FTSE of Britain added 0.3 percent to 7,514.90. U.S. shares looked set to extend gains, with Dow futures up 0.1 percent to 20,905.00 while S&P futures also gained 0.1 percent to 2,394.90.
MANCHESTER BLAST: The explosion struck an Ariana Grande concert in northern England late Monday, killing at least 22 people and injuring dozens. The singer was not injured. Britain’s terrorist threat level has been set at “severe” in recent years, indicating an attack is highly likely. Police said the explosion is being judged a terrorist attack unless new information proves otherwise.
ANALYST’S VIEWPOINT: The “explosion in Manchester early this morning had led to knee-jerk risk aversion trades, with the U.S. dollar/Japanese yen slipping below the 111 level momentarily. Short of a wider-scale incident, we do not expect more disruptions to the market,” Mizuho Bank said in a commentary.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.3 percent to 19,613.28 as the yen gained against the U.S. dollar, potentially hurting exporters’ earnings. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5 percent to 3,061.95, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.1 percent to 25,412.73. The S&P ASX 200 of Australia slipped 0.2 percent to 5,760.20. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.7 percent to 2,321.14 as impeached former President Park Geun-hye went on trial. Taiwan shares rose and markets in Southeast Asia were mixed.
SOUTH KOREA TRIAL: Park, the former president, denied that she engaged in bribery and leaking government secrets at Tuesday’s start of the criminal trial that could send South Korea’s first female leader to prison for life if she is convicted. Park was removed from office after the Constitutional Court upheld her December impeachment after massive street protests over corruption allegations that emerged last October.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 43 cents to $50.70 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Monday it added 46 cents to $51.13 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 32 cents to $53.55 a barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 111.18 yen from 111.34 yen. The euro rose to $1.1254 from $1.1237.
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