People walk by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Friday, May 19, 2017. Asian stocks were mostly lower Friday as investor worries remained about the U.S. political turmoil over an investigation into possible Russian coordination with President Donald Trump's campaign. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Global shares mostly higher on Wall Street despite worries

May 19, 2017 - 4:13 am

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares meandered Friday, but were mostly higher, following an overnight recovery on Wall Street, though investor optimism was tempered by U.S. political uncertainties and a crisis brewing in Brazil.

KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 gained 0.5 percent in early trading to 5,313.86, while Germany's DAX rose 0.3 percent to 12,623.99. Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.4 percent at 7,462.97. U.S. shares were also set to drift higher, with Dow futures adding 0.1 percent to 20,653. S&P 500 futures added 0.1 percent to 2,365.10.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.2 percent to close at 19,590.76. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down 0.2 percent to 5,727.40. South Korea's Kospi added nearly 0.1 percent to 2,288.48. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.3 percent to 25,203.33. The Shanghai Composite was little changed, edging up less than 0.1 percent to 3,090.63. India's Sensex was down 0.2 percent to 30,374.99.

U.S. FACTOR: U.S. shares rallied Thursday, partly cheered by strong jobs data, following their worst drop in eight months the day before. Fears have been growing that given his political troubles Trump may struggle to win passage of tax cuts and other business-friendly policies.

BRAZIL FACTOR: Markets are also being shaken by a deepening political crisis in Brazil, where President Michel Temer is facing calls for his resignation amid allegations of corruption. Stocks and the currency have plunged there.

THE QUOTE: "Given the heightened level of uncertainty, I suspect traders will remain in a kind of Investor Purgatory where risk aversion dominates and fear mounts that the investigation could open up a whole new can of worms which will do little more than compound the markets current panic syndrome," said Stephen Innes, senior trader at OANDA.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil futures added 50 cents to $49.85 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 28 cents to $49.35 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, climbed 40 cents to $52.91 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The euro slipped to $1.1139 from $1.1153 late Thursday in Asia. The dollar strengthened to 111.39 yen from 111.17 yen.


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