World Economy

Global Shares Mixed

An electronic exchange in TokyoAn electronic exchange in Tokyo

Global shares were mixed Wednesday as Asian markets took a hit from the abrupt departure of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

France’s CAC 40 added 0.2% to 5,254.76. Germany’s DAX climbed 0.2% to 12,245.56 and Britain’s FTSE 100 gained nearly 0.2% to 7,149.96. US shares were set to drift higher, with Dow futures up 0.3% at 25136 and S&P 500 futures also 0.3% higher at 2,780.00, AP reported.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.9% to close at 21,777.29. Australia’s AS&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.7% to 5,935.30. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.3% to 2,486.08. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.5% to 31,435.01, while the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.6% to 3,291.38. Shares also fell in Southeast Asia.

US President Donald Trump fired Tillerson and picked CIA Director Mike Pompeo, adding to uncertainty over White House diplomacy and deepening disarray in the Trump administration. The upheaval adds to concerns over tensions between the US and North Korea.

“Over and above the reflection of chaos within the US administration, the removal of another balancing voice in the White House shortly after ex-economic adviser Gary Cohn’s departure certainly induced jitters within the market,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

The US share market is flashing all kinds of warning signals. The short term direction could turn sharply negative, with direct implications for global share markets, CMCMarkets reported.

The US SPX 500 index is arguably the most influential share market index in the world. A downdraft in this index is likely to affect global sentiment. Caution is warranted and investors and traders may watch closely for clues to the short term.

Of course there are no certain ways to predict the future, including technical analysis. If the SPX 500 trades up through 2,800 all of these negative signals are wrong. But until that occurs it’s reasonable to look out for substantial downside risks.

Benchmark US crude added 29 cents to $61.00 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It slumped 65 cents to $60.71 a barrel in overnight. Brent crude, used to price international oils, advanced 20 cents to $64.84 per barrel.

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