Global Stocks Mostly Up as Traders Mull Trump Inquiry

BEIJING (AP) — Stock markets mostly rose Friday as traders weighed slower U.S. economic growth and the possible impact of an impeachment inquiry of U.S. President Donald Trump.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX rose 0.9% to 12,398 and France’s CAC 40 added 0.3% to 5,636. London’s FTSE 100 gained 1.1% to 7,429, boosted in part by comments by a Bank of England rate-setter who said interest rates could be cut even if Britain gets a Brexit deal.

On Wall Street, futures for both the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3%.

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The congressional probe of Trump is adding volatility to markets already jittery over U.S.-Chinese trade tensions.

“The impeachment of Trump will now become a drawn-out saga that feels like annoying supermarket music,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a report.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.1% to 2,932.17 on the final day of trading before a weeklong Chinese holiday.

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Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 1.4% to 21,744.87 ahead of an Oct. 1 hike in Japan’s sales tax to 10% from 8%. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 0.3% to 25,963.28.

Traders were encouraged by a Chinese Commerce Ministry announcement that importers had agreed to buy U.S. soybeans as the two sides make conciliatory gestures ahead of trade talks. That followed an earlier decision to list punitive tariffs on soybeans, the biggest Chinese import from the United States.

Plans to go ahead with negotiations next month have helped to ease market jitters, but there has been no sign of progress toward resolving the bruising tariff war over trade and technology.

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While many analysts say the Trump probe isn’t likely to affect the market significantly, it does add a degree of uncertainty and could complicate the White House’s efforts to resolve trade disputes with China and other nations.

Seoul’s Kospi dropped 1.2% to 2,049.93 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.4% to 6,704.80. India’s Sensex gave up 0.1% to 38,929.70.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 66 cents to $55.75 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange on news that a U.K.-flagged tanker that had been held by Iran was free to go. The move could help ease tensions in the oil-rich region.

Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 97 cents to $60.77 per barrel in London.

CURRENCY: The dollar gained to 108.10 yen from Thursday’s 107.83 yen. The euro rose to $1.0934 from $1.0920, while the pound fell to $123.04 from $1.2323 as traders reacted to the Bank of England comments by factoring in a greater possibility of a rate cut.


By AP reporter Joe McDonald

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