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World shares advance as centrists lose ground in EU vote

/ 06:09 PM May 27, 2019

BANGKOK – Shares advanced Monday in Europe after centrists lost ground to pro-business and environmentalist groups in elections for the 28-nation bloc’s parliamentary assembly.

Germany’s DAX climbed 0.5% to 12,066.21 and the CAC 40 in France added 0.3% to 5,332.66.

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Markets were closed in Britain.

With U.S. markets closed for the Memorial Day holiday, the future contract for the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.1% higher to 25,652.00 and that for the S&P 500 was nearly unchanged at 2,832.90.

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In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index advanced 0.3% to 21,182.58 after visiting President Donald Trump said he expects a deal with Tokyo on trade after a Japanese election in July.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.2% to 27,288.09 and the Kospi in South Korea edged 0.1% to 2,044.21. The S&P ASX 200 in Australia edged 4.1 points lower to 6,451.90.

The Shanghai Composite index jumped 1.4% to 2,892.38 and India’s Sensex added 0.8% to 39,752.63. Shares in Taiwan also were higher. Shares climbed in Jakarta and Thailand but fell in Singapore.

World shares advance as centrists lose ground in EU vote

A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 27, 2019. Shares were mixed early Monday in Asia in the absence of fresh news on the tariffs standoff between the U.S. and China. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Stocks notched modest gains Friday on Wall Street, erasing some of the market’s steep losses from a day earlier, but not enough for the market to avoid a third straight weekly loss.

Fiat Chrysler on Monday proposed a merger with France’s Renault, in a deal that would create the world’s third-biggest automaker and save billions needed to invest in the race to make new electric and autonomous vehicles.

Shares of both companies jumped on reports of a merger.

The joint company would be 50 percent owned by Fiat Chrysler shareholders and 50 percent by Renault shareholders, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said in a statement.

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In the European election, far-right and populist parties were among the biggest winners, as voters voiced concerns over immigration and security.

But environmentalist parties also made strong gains, especially in Germany, at the expense of center-right and center-left groups that have dominated the EU.

“Exit polls from EU elections suggest that the Euro-skeptic nationalists had won more seats, but are nowhere close to dislodging majority leadership from the mainstream and other pro-EU parties,” Mizuho Bank said in a commentary.

That will likely lift the euro, it said, “as markets price out the worst case outcome of nationalist parties foiling policy changes for further EU integration.”

Trump’s administration has been seeking a bilateral trade deal with Japan after withdrawing from the Pacific Rim trading block, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The two sides are working to close gaps over trade in farm products and autos and auto parts.

“We are working on the imbalance on the trade as there has been a tremendous imbalance so that we are working on that. And I am sure that will work out over a period of the time,” Trump said. He said via Twitter that he expected an agreement in August.

Share benchmarks have swung between gains and losses as investors weigh the prospect of a prolonged trade war between the U.S. and China. Trading has been volatile since the dispute escalated earlier this month, with both sides raising tariffs on each other’s goods.

Financial companies led Friday’s buying as the yield on the 10-year Treasury note reversed part of a steep slide a day earlier.

It was at 2.32% as of late Friday. Rising yields boost interest rates on loans, which makes lending more profitable.

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% to 2,826.06, ending the week with a 2.3% loss. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4%, to 25,585.69. The Nasdaq composite added 0.1% to 7,637.01. Small company stocks fared better, and the Russell 2000 index climbed 0.9% to 1,514.11.

The 11th round of U.S.-China trade talks ended with no agreement. Instead, the U.S. moved to increase tariffs on Chinese goods, prompting China to reciprocate. The trade dispute escalated further after the U.S. proposed restrictions on technology sales to China.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 23 cents to $58.40 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It climbed 1.7% to settle at $58.63 a barrel on Friday. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 9 cents to $67.56 per barrel. It gave up 3 cents to $67.47 per barrel on Friday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.49 Japanese yen from 109.31 yen on Friday. The euro strengthened to $1.1195 from $1.1190. /gg

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