News Column

Stocks mostly gain as Ukraine rhetoric dialed down

August 15, 2014

YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Global stock markets mostly rose Friday, cheered by the prospect of more gains on Wall Street and a sense that Ukraine tensions are easing.

KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 added 0.6 percent to 4,232.35. Britain'sFTSE 100 gained 0.7 percent to 6,729.60 and Germany's DAX rose 0.6 percent to 9,281.22. Futures augured gains on Wall Street. Dow futures rose 0.2 percent to 16,717 and S&P 500 futures gained 0.2 percent to 1,957.50.

ASIA'S DAY: Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 0.6 percent to 24,954.94 and China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.9 percent to 2,226.73. Japan'sNikkei 225 was little changed at 15,318.34 while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3 percent to 5,566.50. South Korean markets were closed for a holiday and trading was subdued in Japan because of the Obon holidays, during which major companies slumber.

EASING TENSIONS: Sentiment was helped by Russia's President Vladimir Putin appearing to tone down his rhetoric on situation in Ukraine, where pro-Russian rebels are waging an insurgency in Ukraine's east. In addressing hundreds of lawmakers Thursday in the Black Sea resort of Yalta in Crimea, which was annexed by Russia from Ukraine in March, he said Russia's goal was "to stop bloodshed in Ukraine as soon as possible."

ANALYST TAKE: Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said that investors were shrugging off an unexpected increase in U.S. unemployment claims but were encouraged by what was being seen as Russia's "more conciliatory tone" over Ukraine. The U.S. Labor Department said more people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, with applications climbing 21,000 to 311,000.

ENERGY: The benchmark U.S. crude futures contract was up down 16 cents to $95.42 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

CURRENCIES: The euro rose to $1.3385 from $1.3363. The dollar rose to 102.55 yen from 102.48 yen late Thursday.

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Source: Associated Press

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