MANILA, Philippines - World stock markets mostly fell Tuesday as investors awaited a slew of U.S. economic data this week to gauge when the Federal Reserve will start reducing its monetary stimulus.
But Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.6
percent to 15,749.66 on the yen's weakness, which helps the stock prices of
export-reliant companies that dominate the Japanese stock market. The yen has
resumed falling on expectations the central bank will maintain or even expand
its super easy monetary policy until inflation reaches 2 percent
Other Asian markets were lower, but
Thailand's index gained 0.3 percent after violent anti-government protests
diminished as the country prepares to mark the 86th birthday Thursday of its
European benchmarks fell and U.S.
stock futures were slightly lower, auguring a muted opening on Wall Street.
"There's a lot of U.S. data out
at the end of the week and a lot of people are trying to front run what we are
seeing coming out of the Fed," said Evan Lucas, market strategist of IG
Markets Limited in Australia. "If they do start to have good numbers, it's
not good for emerging markets."
The Fed's $85 billion of monthly bond
purchases have kept U.S. interest rates low to encourage economic recovery but
also sent a flood of money into stock markets worldwide in search of higher
returns. A jobs report on Friday will be
crucial in shaping expectations about whether the U.S. central bank will start
reducing its stimulus this month or next year.
In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.3
percent to 6,573.78 and Germany's DAX was 0.4 percent lower at 9,367.41.
France's CAC-40 was down 0.9 percent at 4,247.15.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.5 percent
to 23,910.47. China's Shanghai Composite recovered from early losses, finishing
0.7 percent higher at 2,222.67. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.4 percent to
5,256.07. South Korea's Kospi dropped 1.1 percent to 2,009.36.
In energy markets, benchmark crude for
January delivery was up 30 cents to $94.12 a barrel in electronic trading on
the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.10 to close at $93.82 on
The euro climbed to $1.3568 from
$1.3540 late Monday in New York. The dollar rose to 103.10 yen from 102.93 yen.