TOKYO—Global stocks were slightly higher Tuesday as investors continued to gauge the potential impact of President Donald Trump’s trade and regulatory policies.
KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 added 0.1 per cent to 4,822 while Germany’s DAX inched up 0.2 per cent to 11,566. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.2 per cent to 7,164 after the Supreme Court said parliament would have a right to vote on whether Britain formally exits the European Union. The ruling doesn’t mean Britain will remain in the EU, but it could delay the process. Dow and S&P 500 futures were virtually unchanged.
TRADE WORRIES: Trump’s latest moves on trade and regulations have raised concerns over future access to the U.S. market, particularly among Asian countries. Trump signed a memorandum saying the U.S. will withdraw from the trade pact known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He also said he would renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
THE QUOTE: “The lack of any key U.S. economic data overnight had dealers focused exclusively on the Trump administration’s trade policy and the signing of the executive order to pull out of the TPP,” said Stephen Innes, senior trader at Oanda, of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
BT SLIDE: Shares in London-based telecommunications company BT Group Plc plunged 18 per cent on the news that an accounting scandal at its Italian unit would prove more costly than expected. BT almost tripled its estimated charges for the accounting problems, to 530 million pounds ($657 million) and warned the international market had weakened. The company lowered its earnings outlook as a result.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.6 per cent to finish at 18,787.99. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.7 per cent to 5,650.10. South Korea’s Kospi was little changed, inching down 0.01 per cent to 2,065.76. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.2 per cent to 22,936.63, while the Shanghai Composite ticked up 0.2 per cent to 3,142.55. Benchmarks rose in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia, but fell in the Philippines.
SAMSUNG NEWS: Samsung Electronics gained nearly 0.3 per cent after reporting fourth-quarter profit more than doubled from a year earlier on strong memory-chip and smartphone sales, despite its costly Galaxy Note 7 recalls. The South Korean company has said defects in batteries from two manufacturers made the devices prone to catching fire.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 6 cents to $52.81. It fell 47 cents in New York overnight. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 1 cent $55.24 per barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: In currency markets, the dollar declined to 113.36 yen from 113.62 yen the previous day. The euro was little changed at $1.0744 from $1.0743.