TOKYO – Global stocks were uneven Tuesday as weak Chinese manufacturing weighed on sentiment and investors looked ahead to a U.S. jobs report later this week that could cement expectations for a Fed interest rate hike.
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KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 dropped 0.6 percent to 5,088.22, while Germany's DAX lost 0.2 percent to 11,413.80. Britain's FTSE 100 edged down 0.2 percent to 6,673.48. Greece's stock market fell for a second day since reopening after a five-week shutdown, though its losses were modest at 2 percent.
U.S. shares also appeared to be set to drift lower, with the S&P and Dow futures both 0.2 percent lower.
CHINA WEAKNESS: Two recent surveys showed China's giant manufacturing industry weakened in July, suggesting government efforts to stimulate the world's No. 2 economy aren't gaining broad traction. Weakening demand from China is also causing commodity prices to fall, hitting share prices of commodity-linked companies.
THE QUOTE: "Weakening growth in the global economy piled on the pressure for commodities. We saw a surprise downward adjustment to China's gauge for smaller manufacturers' activity, signaling further weakness in the Chinese economy," said Bernard Aw, market strategist for IG in Singapore.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 inched down 0.1 percent to 20,520.36, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.3 percent to 5,697.90. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.2 percent to 24,373.98, while the Shanghai Composite rose 3.7 percent to 3,756.54 and South Korea's Kospi added nearly 1 percent to 2,027.99.
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U.S. EMPLOYMENT: Investors are looking ahead to monthly U.S. jobs figures due Friday, with robust job creation likely to cement expectations for a U.S. interest rate hike in September or December. A FactSet survey of analysts forecasts the U.S. added 225,000 new jobs in July, better than June's strong figure of 223,000. Ultra-low interest rates have fueled gains in stock prices for several years and a rate hike is likely to ruffle markets.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 61 cents to $45.78 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.95, or 4.1 percent, to close at $45.17 on Monday. U.S. crude has been sliding since reaching a high this year of $61.43 a barrel on June 10.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 123.92 yen from 123.97 in the previous trading session. The euro rose to $1.0982 from $1.0954.
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