Global stocks mixed after Trump impeachment vote

BEIJING (AP) — Global stock markets were mixed yesterday after the United States (US) House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump and Japan’s central bank kept ultra-low interest rates unchanged.

Paris opened higher while Frankfurt, London and Shanghai were little changed and Tokyo retreated.

The House vote sends Trump’s case to the Senate for trial. Republicans who control the Senate said they plan to acquit him. Trump is accused of abusing his office by pressing the government of Ukraine to investigate a potential political rival ahead of next year’s presidential election. He also is accused of obstructing efforts by Congress to investigate that allegation.

The outcome will be “greater polarisation, and a rapid Senate dismissal of the charges made in the House, and then even greater polarisation,” Rabobank said in a report.In early trading, London’s FTSE 100 was off five points at 7,535.20 and Frankfurt’s DAX was up eight points at 13,229.64. France’s CAC 40 gained 0.1 per cent to 5,966.35.

On Wall Street, futures for the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were flat.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. PHOTO: AP

The S&P closed up on Wednesday less than 0.1 per cent while the Dow dropped 0.1 per cent. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.1 per cent to a record.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index closed at 3,017.07 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.3 per cent to 23,864.85. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sank 0.3 per cent to 27,800.49. Seoul’s Kospi was off two points at 2,195.56 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.3 per cent to 6,833.10.

India’s Sensex rose 0.2 per cent to 41.636.03 while New Zealand and Singapore also gained. Taiwan and Jakarta retreated.

The Bank of Japan left its short-term policy rate unchanged at -0.1 per cent and its target for 10-year government bond yields at zero per cent.

The bank downgraded its view on industrial production and said overseas risks are significant, a change from October’s statement that they

were increasing. Indonesia’s central bank also left its main policy rate unchanged. Australia reported stronger-than-expected November jobs numbers.

Australian employers added 39,900 jobs following a revised loss of 24,800 in October. Annual growth held steady at two per cent over a year earlier.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with small losses that left them just below all-time highs.

The S&P 500 fell 1.38 points, or less than 0.1 per cent, to 3,191.14. The Dow dropped 27.88 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 28,239.28.

The Nasdaq composite rose 4.38 points, or 0.1 per cent, to a record 8,827.73.

Losses in banks, industrial stocks, household goods makers and technology companies helped pull the market lower. They offset gains in real estate, communication services, health care and elsewhere in the market.

The House vote to impeach Trump, which investors expected, appeared to have no impact on the market. FedEx was the biggest loser in the S&P 500 after the package delivery giant cut its profit forecast for its fiscal year and reported weaker quarterly earnings than analysts expected.

The company cited “weak global economic conditions” and higher expenses.

ENERGY

Benchmark US crude lost eight cents to USD60.77 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract declined two cents on Wednesday to close at USD60.85. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed nine cents to USD66.08 per barrel in London. It added seven cents the previous session to USD66.17.

CURRENCY

The dollar was little changed at 109.56 yen. The euro rose to USD1.1127 from USD1.1114.