A woman walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo, Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Asian stock markets were mostly lower on Tuesday after disappointing U.S. car sales data contributed to a bleak day on Wall Street. Investors are cautiously awaiting President Donald Trump's meeting with the Chinese president later this week. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Global shares mostly higher ahead of Trump-Xi meeting

April 05, 2017 - 5:44 am

TOKYO (AP) — Shares were mostly higher Wednesday both in Europe and Asia as oil prices extended gains. North Korea's latest missile launch appeared to have little impact on trading. Investors are awaiting U.S. data and meetings later in the week between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

KEEPING SCORE: The CAC 40 of France was steady at 5,102.77 and Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.3 percent to 7,340.94. Germany's DAX fell 0.3 percent to 12,247.71. The S&P 500 future contract fell 0.1 percent to 2,355.20 while Dow futures gained 0.1 percent to 20,645.00, suggesting another tepid start for New York.

ENERGY: Shares in energy companies like PetroChina climbed as benchmark U.S. crude rose 60 cents to $51.63 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 68 cents to $54.85 a barrel. A larger-than-expected decline in U.S. crude inventories has driven gains.

TRUMP CHINA: Trade agreements and regional tensions will be in focus as Trump and Xi meet Thursday and Friday at the president's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. While some analysts expect the two sides to keep friction to a minimum by sticking to an agreed-upon script, others worry Trump's past harsh criticism of China and mounting dissatisfaction with Beijing in American business circles auger ill for the summit.

QUOTABLE: "To some extent, the market's imagination appears to be running wild with the possibilities of the outcome from this meeting, especially given the impulsiveness we have seen from President Donald Trump thus far on issues regarding China. This will likely cause many to stay on the side-lines ahead of the meeting," Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary. She noted that apart from the diplomatic agenda, minutes of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting and U.S. employment data are due out this week.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 index gained 0.3 percent to 18,861.27 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.6 percent to 24,400.80. The Kospi of South Korea was flat at 2,160.85. Australia's S&P ASX 200 rose 0.3 percent to 5,876.20 and the Shanghai Composite index advanced 1.5 percent to 3,270,31. Markets in Southeast Asia were mixed.

CURRENCIES: The dollar edged lower to 110.91 yen from 110.96 yen. The euro was steady at $1.0665.

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