World stocks up with eye on economic releases





SINGAPORE (AP) — World stocks mostly rose Friday ahead of more economic releases that could hint at how the delta variant is affecting growth.

France’s CAC 40 climbed 0.2% to 6,895.50, while the DAX in Germany added 0.3% to 15,985.45. Britain’s FTSE 100 picked up 0.4% to 7,223.49 in early trading.

Wall Street was set for a muted open. Futures for the broad S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1%, to 4,457.50 and 35,437.00 respectively. Both indices had closed at record highs for the third-straight day on Thursday.

Traders are digesting U.S. economic releases and tracking the recovery of world’s largest economy. Recent Labor Department data showed that jobless claims fell to 375,000 from 387,000 the previous week. Meanwhile, inflation at the wholesale level jumped a higher-than-expected 1% in July.

Heads will turn to Europe and Asia next week. On the schedule is eurozone and U.K. inflation data, as well as second quarter performance of the eurozone economy.

Over in Asia, Japan and Thailand will report their second quarter growth. While traders won’t “pay much attention to this backdated GDP data,” they will watch how the delta variant is hitting the wider growth trajectory, ING analysts said in a report.

China will also release its industrial output and retail sales figures for July. This comes after the country’s services sector was shown to have rebounded ahead of a fresh COVID-19 wave.

“Industrial production will be watched after the July trade data release, which was regarded to be resilient but missed the consensus,” Lewis Cooper of IHS Markit said.

Asia indices slipped on Friday. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.1% to close at 27,977.15. South Korea’s Kospi dropped 1.2% to 3,171.29 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 0.5% to 26,391.62.

The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.2% to 3,516.30. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 0.5% to 7,628.90, however. New Zealand’s benchmark jumped, while that of Singapore and Indonesia fell.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 52 cents to $68.57 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the price standard for international oils, gave up 39 cents to $70.92 per barrel in London.

The dollar slid to 110.27 yen from Thursday’s 110.42 yen. The euro rose to $1.1745 from $1.1738.