TOKYO (AP) — European benchmarks were little changed Monday after a mixed close in Asia that echoed a similar end to last week on Wall Street.
France’s CAC 40 inched up 0.1% in early trading to 6,395.50, Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.2% to 7,032.32. U.S. shares were set to drift higher with Dow futures adding 0.4% to 34,293.0. S&P 500 futures added 0.5% to 4,170.38. Germany’s markets were closed for a holiday.
The Japanese government is preparing to extend a “state of emergency” to curb coronavirus infections in some areas, beyond the initial ending date of May 31, because of concerns over outbreaks ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, set to begin in July.
The uneven rollout of vaccinations against COVID-19 remains a risk factor for regional markets. Vaccinations have gradually started in Japan, for medical professionals and the elderly, and a separate effort to inoculate people at different sites began Monday. So far, about 5% of the population has gotten at least one shot.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei added 0.2% to finish at 28,364.61. South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.4% to 3,144.30, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.2% to 7,045.90. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.2% to 28,412.26, while the Shanghai Composite edged up 0.3% to 3,497.28.
Several central bank rate decisions are expected in the region this week, in New Zealand, South Korea and Indonesia.
Worries remain that inflation may cause central banks to pull back on efforts to support growth. The U.S. Federal Reserve has said it expects any bump in inflation to be temporary.
Analysts have also said investors are looking further ahead, beyond the recovery, and are wary about potential tax changes and the impact they may have on growth. Also on investors’ minds is Bitcoin, whose pricing has turned choppy lately.
In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude gained 95 cents to $64.53 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained $1.64 to $63.58 on Friday. Brent crude, the international standard, gained $1.00 to $67.44 a barrel.
In currency trading, the U.S. dollar slipped to 108.76 Japanese yen from 108.91 yen late Friday. The euro cost $1.2203, up from $1.2181.
Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press