Global shares weaker as investors await economic data

By YOUKYUNG LEE Markets Associated Press

Global stock markets were generally weaker Tuesday as investors stayed on the sidelines before the release of a raft of economic data later this week.

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KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.3 percent in early trading to 7,523.33 and France's CAC 40 was down 0.5 percent at 5,304.86. Germany's DAX was almost unchanged at 12,624.74. Futures augured a tepid start on Wall Street after a long weekend. Dow futures dipped less than 0.1 percent while S&P futures fell 0.1 percent.

DATA WATCH: A raft of data being released this week will give investors fresh clues about the status of the global economy. Investors were awaiting the eurozone business and consumer confidence readings later in the day. On Wednesday, China's latest official factory and service industry purchasing managers' indexes will be released. The ISM index for U.S. manufacturing due Thursday and U.S. private and official payroll numbers due Friday will give investors the latest clues on the health of the world's largest economy. Analysts said upcoming economic data will also determine the direction of the U.S. dollar, which has strengthened against the euro as it lost ground recently due to security concerns.

ANALYST'S VIEWPOINT: "The sustainability of the dollar's rally will be tested this Friday night, with the non-farm payroll number in focus. A strong jobs report will likely firm up the Fed's decision to trigger a second rate hike this year, and also reinforce investor confidence in the U.S. economy," said Margaret Yang, a market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore.

ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 finished nearly flat at 19,677.85 and South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.4 percent to 2,343.68. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2 percent to 5,717.90. Markets in Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia and New Zealand were lower. Markets in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei were closed for a holiday.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 14 cents to $49.66 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 90 cents to settle at $49.80 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 43 cents to $52.21 a barrel in London.

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CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.07 yen from 111.26 yen. The euro dipped to $1.1155 from $1.1163.