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VOL. 41 | NO. 7 | Friday, February 17, 2017
World stocks mostly rise as US remains shut for holiday
HONG KONG (AP) — Global stocks mostly rose Monday, though Wall Street remained shut for a holiday, as investors awaited key reports this week, including economic data, corporate earnings and minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting.
KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Germany's DAX gained 0.6 percent to 11,827.62 and Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 7,299.86. France's CAC 40 shed 0.1 percent to 4,864.99. Greek bonds rose after eurozone finance ministers moved a step closer to freeing up more rescue loans for the country.
U.S. markets set record highs on Friday but remained closed for trading on Monday for Presidents' Day.
WEEK AHEAD: Markets await the Federal Reserve's release Wednesday of minutes from its January policy meeting, which might provide new insight in the U.S. central bank's views on interest rates. Last week, Fed chief Janet Yellen indicated the Fed is likely to speed up the pace of its interest rate rises if the job market remains healthy and inflation stays on track. Also due this week: a German business confidence index on Tuesday, U.S. new home sales on Friday and earnings from big companies such as British bank HSBC.
ANALYST VIEW: "The Fed minutes on Wednesday are likely to be the data highlight this week," said Kathleen Brooks, research director at City Index. However, Fed officials are "unlikely to commit to a March rate hike, especially because the Fed has worked its way into a corner where it is now dependent on the Trump administration's fiscal plans before it can change policy."
KRAFT CANCELS: Shares in consumer goods giant Unilever fell 5.2 percent after rival Kraft Heinz said it was dropping its $143 billion offer. The two companies jointly described the decision as amicable. Unilever, which has brands like Lipton, Dove and Hellman's had rejected the bid as too low and its shares had jumped 14 percent on Friday.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.1 percent to close at 19,251.08 and South Korea's Kospi advanced 0.2 percent to end at 2,084.39. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.5 percent to 24,146.08 and the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.2 percent to 3,239.96. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.2 percent to 5,795.10.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 17 cents to $53.57 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 29 cents to $56.10 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.11 yen from 112.85 yen on Friday. The euro ticked up to $1.0619 from $1.0615.