Global shares trend lower as world eyes Trump-Kim summit

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares were mostly lower in muted trading yesterday as investors awaited the outcome of a summit between United States (US) President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam.

France’s CAC 40 lost 0.4 per cent in early trading to 5,219.06, while Germany’s DAX fell 0.5 per cent to 11,487.47. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.5 per cent to 7,118.99 after Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday gave lawmakers the power to slam on the brakes and divert Britain away from a disruptive and chaotic exit from the European Union.

US shares were set to head lower with the future contract for the Dow Jones Industrial Average sliding 0.4 per cent to 25,943. S&P 500 futures dropped 0.4 per cent to 2,781.60.

Kim and Trump had a private dinner yesterday evening, following up on their Singapore summit in June, which was long on pageantry but short on any enforceable agreements for North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal.

Progress toward further dismantling of the North’s nuclear programme could help reduce tensions left over from the 1950-53 Korean War, dousing a long-time flashpoint in the region.

But the event was absorbing less attention than the first meeting, said Jasper Lawler of London Capital Group.

Chinese investors monitor stock prices at a brokerage house in Beijing. – AP

“Traders will keep an eye on developments, but the intensity of the focus will be nothing like the first meeting which came following months of hot-headed comments from both sides,” Lawler said in a research note.

Shares were mixed in Asia, where Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.5 per cent to finish at 21,556.51. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.4 per cent to 6,150.30 and South Korea’s Kospi edged up 0.4 per cent to 2,234.79.

India’s Sensex dropped 0.3 per cent to 35,870.91 as tensions with neighbouring Pakistan surged following a pre-dawn airstrike by India that New Delhi said targetted a terrorist training camp.

Pakistan said its air force shot down two Indian warplanes after they crossed the boundary in the disputed region of Kashmir and captured two Indian pilots, as Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority closed the country’s air space to all commercial flights.

ELSEWHERE IN ASIA

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng erased earlier gains to slip nearly 0.2 per cent to 28,727.36, while the Shanghai Composite index gained 0.4 per cent to 2,953.82. Shares fell in Singapore but rose in Thailand.

ENERGY

US benchmark crude added 61 cents to USD56.11 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was essentially flat at USD55.50 a barrel in New York overnight. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 44 cents to USD65.80 a barrel.

CURRENCIES

The dollar slipped to 110.43 yen from 110.58 yen. The euro rose to USD1.1396 from USD1.1388 on Tuesday.