World stocks mixed amid Europe anxiety
  • | AP | June 15, 2010 04:16 PM

World stock markets were mixed Tuesday, with some investors staying the course but others finding safety on the sidelines following a drop on Wall Street triggered by anxieties over Europe's economic health.

In this March 8, 2010 file photo, the semi-circular trading desk, lower left, of Cuttone & Co., is seen at the New York Stock Exchange.
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)

Oil prices hovered above $75 a barrel as traders eyed demand for crude, while key indexes in Asia posted either minuscule gains or losses after an indecisive day of trading. Europe started out in the red, but U.S. futures were poised to open higher.

Britain's FTSE 100 index of leading shares was down 0.5 percent, or 24.11 points, to 5,178.01; Germany's DAX was 0.3 percent lower at 6,105.710. France's CAC-40 was down 17.79 points to 3,608.31. On Wall Street, Dow futures were up 0.1 percent to 10,210 while the Standard and Poor's 500 futures gained 0.1 percent to 1,090.50.

Key indexes in Japan and Hong Kong rose tepidly. The dollar weakened against the yen and the euro slipped against the greenback. The Nikkei 225 stock average was up 0.1 percent, or 8.04 points, to close at 9,887.89. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.1 percent to 20,062.15.

Elsewhere, benchmarks in Australia, Thailand and South Korea were down. Financial markets in mainland China were closed for a holiday.

In New York on Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average erased early gains to end down 0.2 percent at 10,190.89. The S&P 500 index fell 0.2 percent to 1,089.63, while the Nasdaq composite index rose less than 0.1 percent 2,243.96. Stocks began higher following encouraging industrial production data from Europe. But that wasn't enough to overcome ongoing fears about the continent's problems, especially after Moody's lowered its rating on Greece's debt to "junk" status.

The fallout in Asia was mild, however, with a few benchmarks showing a small amount of buoyancy ahead of U.S. industrial production numbers due Wednesday.

"Overseas markets have regained some of their nerve," said Howard Gorges, vice chairman of South China Brokerage in Hong Kong. "People will still be wary because of what goes on in Greece or Spain, but there's been so much adverse news that markets are ignoring quite a lot of it."

While the euro has risen since hitting a four-year low earlier in June, it has dropped more than 15 percent this year and a strong rebound isn't expected in the near-term. Analysts also said traders remained a bit on edge, and markets could stay choppy.

"It is a seesaw situation," said Castor Pang, director of research at Cinda International in Hong Kong. "Most investors are still cautious."

In currencies, the dollar slipped to 91.24 yen from 91.58 yen late Monday in New York. The euro weakened to $1.2194 from $1.2210.

Benchmark crude for July delivery was up 20 cents to $75.33 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.34 to settle at $75.12 on Monday.

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