Global Shares Pause Ahead of Economic Data

By Riva Gold and Kenan Machado Features Dow Jones Newswires

Global stocks were little moved Friday ahead of fresh readings on the eurozone and U.S. economies, while the British pound inched higher on the first anniversary of the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union.

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The Stoxx Europe 600 swung between small gains and losses shortly after markets opened, following a muted session in Asia. Futures pointed to a 0.2% opening gain for the S&P 500.

London's FTSE 100 edged down 0.4%, leading declines in Europe, as the pound climbed 0.5% to $1.2743, recovering from losses earlier this week.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of 16 currencies, was down 0.2%, while yields on 10-year Treasury notes were little changed.

Later Friday, business surveys are expected to indicate that eurozone economic growth picked up again in the second quarter but slowed in June. The U.S. Commerce Department also will release new home sales data for May and flash readings on the health of services and manufacturing.

Earlier, Shanghai stocks recovered to trade up 0.3% after increased regulatory scrutiny over the borrowings of China's most prolific overseas deal makers sent markets lower.

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Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.1% despite a preliminary survey showing that the nation's manufacturing activity slowed in June.

"Though the [purchasing managers index] fell rather sharply in June, it still points to a robust expansion in industrial output," said Marcel Thieliant, a senior Japan economist at Capital Economics.

Air-bag maker Takata surged Friday, after dropping 50% Thursday, as reports circulated that the company will seek bankruptcy protection on Monday to minimize payments to creditors.

In South Korea, shares climbed 0.4% after the country's president, Moon Jae-in, said he would lobby China to lift restrictions it imposed on his country's businesses following the installation in Korea of a U.S. missile-defense system that Beijing opposes. The installation prompted Beijing to target South Korean companies and stop tours of high-spending Chinese visitors.

In Australia, the benchmark index's gains from mining and energy stocks were mostly offset by selling in banking stocks, after one of the country's states proposed a tax on liabilities that would piggyback a recently launched federal levy on the biggest lenders. The S&P ASX 200 was up 0.2%.

"I get a sense that global investors are moving on from Australia, and this bank tax might just accelerate that trend," said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader.

Shen Hong contributed to this article.

Write to Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com and Kenan Machado at kenan.machado@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 23, 2017 03:52 ET (07:52 GMT)