TOKYO - Global stocks were mostly lower Monday as signs of weakness in another China manufacturing survey added to lingering jitters about developing economies.
In early European trading, major
benchmarks were lackluster. Britain's FTSE 100 inched up 0.2 percent to
6,522.24 but France's CAC-40 was down 0.1 percent to 4,163.23. Germany's DAX
fell 0.1 percent to 9,293.72. Futures augured modest gains on Wall Street, with
Dow Jones and S&P 500 futures both up 0.1 percent.
The Nikkei 225, the barometer for the
Tokyo Stock Exchange, closed down 2 percent at 14,619.13 as the yen has
reversed some of its weakness against the dollar in recent days, which is a
negative for exporting stocks.
Also negative for sentiment was an
official Chinese manufacturing survey that showed factory output grew at a
slower rate in January compared with December. The survey released on the
weekend followed a HSBC survey that showed a contraction in China's
Markets were closed in Hong Kong,
China, Taiwan and Malaysia for Lunar New Year holidays. Seoul's Kospi dropped
1.1 percent to 1,919.96. Among the Asian markets open for business, only
Thailand posted gains after national elections took place Sunday without major
violence. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell less than 0.1 percent.
The financial markets in several
developing countries including Turkey and Argentina have been shaken recently
by concerns that growth will slow and money will flow out of their economies as
the U.S. Federal Reserve tightens its monetary policy. That has knocked many
stock markets, which were ripe for a pullback after big gains in 2013.
Jitters about emerging markets
continued to be the main focus for investors, said Hiroaki Hiwada, strategist
at Toyo Securities Co.
That in turn was fueling buying of the
yen, which was being viewed as safe haven, and that was helping send regional
stocks lower, he said. The stock fall in New York was also weighing on investor
sentiment, he said.
"There is little good news to
trade on. Maybe by next week, people will start to buy shares back," said
On Friday on Wall Street, the Dow
Jones industrial average fell 149.76 points, or 0.9 percent, to 15,698.85. The
S&P 500 dropped 11.60 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,782.59 and the Nasdaq
lost 19.25 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,103.88.
Benchmark U.S. crude for March
delivery was down 51 cents at $96.98 a barrel in electronic trading on the New
York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 74 cents to close Friday at $97.49
The euro was little changed at
$1.3480. The dollar rose to 102.12 yen from 101.96 yen late Friday but is down
from about 105 yen at the beginning of the year.