Global markets cautious ahead of Trump speech
BEIJING (AP) -- World stock markets were subdued Monday as investors looked ahead to U.S. President Donald Trump's speech to Congress this week for details of promised tax cuts and infrastructure spending.
KEEPING SCORE: London's FTSE-100 edged up 0.1 percent to 7,253 and Germany's DAX gained 0.1 percent to 11,812. France's CAC-40 shed 0.2 percent to 4,837. On Wall Street, the futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 indexes were flat.
TRUMP WATCH: Investors looked ahead to Trump's speech Tuesday to a joint session of Congress for details of how he plans to carry out promises to cut taxes and step up infrastructure spending. U.S. stocks have been buoyed by Trump's promise of pro-business changes but investor unease over their size and speed is growing. Analysts say less money is flowing into "Trump trades" that would benefit from the changes.
ANALYST'S TAKE: "Doubts continue to build on whether Trump will carry out his promise on infrastructure investment" and the timing of possible tax cuts is slow, Mizuho Bank said in a report. "Given the diminished expectations, we are hopeful that Trump, with the help of his speechwriters, could imbue optimism back into markets over his proposed tax reforms," the bank said. "Particularly, we will watch for any information for the magnitude of tax cuts under discussion, and also gauge whether Trump can court political support for his more controversial measures, including border taxes."
EXCHANGES DEAL: Shares in London Stock Exchange and its Frankfurt-based peer Deutsche Boerse fell on concerns that their merger deal could be scuttled. The LSE said that European regulators had made a late demand that it sell a unit as a condition of the deal. The LSE said it was unwilling to do so and said the regulators will therefore likely reject the proposed merger, which had been a year in the making. Shares in the LSE were down 2.7 percent while Deutsche Boerse's were 2.8 percent lower.
ASIA'S DAY: Earlier, in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.9 percent to 19,107.47 and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8 percent to 3,228.66. Hong Kong's Hang Seng retreated 0.2 percent to 23,925.05 and Seoul's Kospi shed 0.4 percent to 2,085.52. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.3 percent to 5,724.20 and benchmarks in Southeast Asia also declined. India's Sensex fell 0.2 percent to 28,839.30.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 31 cents to $54.30 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 46 cents on Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 39 cents to $56.38 in London. It lost 51 cents the previous session.
CURRENCY: The dollar edged up to 112.31 yen from Friday's 112.19 yen. The euro rose to $1.0582 from $1.0562.