World Economy

European Shares Mixed, Asia Mostly Higher

The Frankfurt Bourse The Frankfurt Bourse

Shares edged higher Monday in Europe and Asia, despite worries of disruptions from the “WannaCry” ransomware cyber attack over the weekend. While upbeat talk on trade and infrastructure investment, at a top-level conference in China, brightened sentiment.

Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.1% to 7,444.12 and Germany’s DAX was nearly flat at 12,773.70. The CAC 40 of France fell 0.2% to 5,395.90. US markets looked poised for an upbeat start to the week, with Dow futures up 0.2% to 20,892.00 and S&P 500 futures 0.1% higher at 2,391.60, AP reported.

The global “ransomware” cyber attack, unprecedented in scale, had technicians scrambling to secure the computers that run factories, banks, government agencies and transport systems in many other nations. Fresh troubles were reported in Asia as businesses reopened Monday, but the scale of the impact from the effort to extort cash from computer users was still unclear.

“The state of geo-politics and the global economy makes you ’WannaCry,”’ said a commentary from Mizuho Bank in Singapore. “And North Korea’s mid-to-long range missile test on Sunday is also regrettable, denting some of the optimism around South Korea’s newly-minted President Moon, whose more conciliatory approach to the North was seen as a positive. Admittedly, risks of imminent confrontation are not elevated, but this is nevertheless a reminder that geo-political risks continue to linger in the background.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping appealed to foreign leaders at a forum on a Chinese trade initiative to resist pressure to close markets. That followed pledges of more than $100 billion in financing during a gathering of leaders from 29 countries to promote the “Belt and Road Initiative” of developing ports, railways and other facilities in a vast arc of 65 countries.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index slipped 0.1% to 19,869.85, falling back after early gains. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.9% to 25,371.59 and the Shanghai Composite index rose 0.2% to 3,090.23. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 was nearly unchanged at 5,838.40. The Kospi of South Korea climbed 0.2% to 2,290.65. Shares in Taiwan and Southeast Asia were mostly higher.

Benchmark US crude oil gained $1.17 to $49.01 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained $1.01 on Friday. Brent crude, the international standard, jumped $1.25 to $52.09 a barrel.

The dollar was steady at 113.56 yen and the euro rose to $1.094 from $1.093.

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