World shares mostly higher

TOKYO (AP) — Shares were higher in Europe and Asia yesterday, while trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was suspended due to a technical failure in its computer systems.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange announced its plans to resume normal trading today. Officials said trading was halted early yesterday because rebooting the huge system after the malfunction would have caused confusion.

Sentiment appeared upbeat despite news that unemployment rose for the fifth straight month in Europe amid concern that extensive government support programmes won’t be able keep many businesses hit by coronavirus restrictions afloat forever.

Official statistics showed the jobless rate rose to 8.1 per cent in the 19 countries that use the euro currency in August, up from 7.9 per cent in July.

France’s CAC 40 gained 0.6 per cent in early trading to 4,833.64, while Germany’s DAX edged 0.1 per cent higher, to 12,768.85. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.8 per cent to 5,914.13.

United States (US) shares were set for gains, with Dow futures up 0.7 per cent and the S&P 500 future contract up 0.8 per cent.

A TV crew films the blank stock board at Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo yesterday. PHOTO: AP

In Asia, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.0 per cent in the afternoon to finish at 5,872.90. Trading was closed in South Korea, Hong Kong and mainland China for national holidays.

Share prices also rose in Southeast Asia and India.

The outage on the exchange eclipsed Japan’s main economic news of the day, the first improvement in manufacturing sentiment in three years, despite the pandemic.

The quarterly Bank of Japan tankan survey showed the headline measure for sentiment among large manufacturers stood at minus 27, an improvement of seven points from the previous survey that came out in July.

Investors are turning their attention to American jobs numbers due out today and watching to see if Congress and the White House can iron out deep partisan differences to agree on fresh help for the US economy.

In energy trading, benchmark US crude lost 54 cents to USD39.67 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 53 cents to USD41.77 a barrel.

The dollar rose to JPY105.60 from JPY105.45 late Wednesday. The euro weakened to USD1.1743 from USD1.1746.