Markets cautious as world leaders head to summit

Global stocks were modestly higher Wednesday as world leaders began heading for a G-20 summit where trade wars, oil prices and other key issues to the economy will likely be discussed.

KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 was up 0.4 percent at 5,004.04, while Germany's DAX added 0.2 percent to 11,333. Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 7,016. U.S. shares were set to drift higher, with Dow futures adding 0.6 percent and S&P 500 futures up 0.5 percent.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1 percent to finish at 22,177.02, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was little changed, inching down less than 0.1 percent to 5,725.10. South Korea's Kospi recovered to 2,108.22, up 0.4 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.3 percent to 26,682.56, while the Shanghai Composite gained 1.1 percent to 2,601.74. Southeast Asian benchmarks were lower, with shares down in the Philippines and Indonesia.

EYES ON G-20: World leaders are arriving in Buenos Aires for this week's G-20 summit, where a variety of issues are gaining attention, from trade worries to the presence of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. His possible involvement is under scrutiny in the slaying of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi as well as whether his country could lead OPEC to cut oil production.

TRADE WORRIES: Concerns remain about pan-Pacific trade tensions, which could hurt economic growth. U.S. President Donald Trump told the Wall Street Journal this week he expects to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports on Jan. 1. His administration recently imposed a 10 percent tax on those imports, and at the start of the year that's scheduled to rise to 25 percent. Trump has also threatened to place tariffs on all remaining U.S. imports from China.

THE QUOTE: "Traders had been hoping that we would have seen an improved tone between the two powers by now," said Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index, about U.S.-China talks. "Any market optimism of easing trade tensions is misplaced."

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 7 cents to $51.49 per barrel. It fell 0.1 percent to $51.56 a barrel in New York Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, shed 23 cents to $59.98 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar edged up to 113.83 yen from 113.48 yen late Tuesday in Asia. The euro fell to $1.1288 from $1.1340.


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