SINGAPORE, Dec 24: European and Asian markets were mostly lower in light trading on Monday as a partial U.S. government shutdown stemmed holiday cheer.
KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 dropped 0.9 percent to 4,653.55. Britain’s FTSE 100 index, which will close early on Christmas Eve, was 0.8 percent lower at 6,666.25. Markets in Germany, Italy, and Brazil were closed. Wall Street was poised for a higher open after ending its worst week in more than seven years. Dow futures added 0.6 percent to 22,534.00 and the broad S&P 500 futures rose 0.7 percent to 2,430.00. Major U.S. indexes, which slumped on Friday, have tumbled more than 12 percent in December.
ASIA’S DAY: South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.3 percent to 2,055.01 while the Shanghai Composite index was 0.4 percent higher at 25,651.38. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.4 percent to 25,651.38 on a short trading day. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 added 0.5 percent to 5,493.80. Stocks fell in Taiwan and Singapore but rose in Thailand. Markets in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines were closed.
PARTIAL SHUTDOWN: The U.S. federal government was partially shut down on Saturday after Democrats rejected President Donald Trump’s demands for $5 billion to erect a border wall with Mexico. They are offering to keep funding at $1.3 billion, which would be used for security instead. It is unclear how long the shutdown will last. Almost every essential government agency remains open, but hundreds of thousands of federal workers will be forced off the job and some services will be shut.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “Holiday thinned trade is to be expected for the markets open this Monday with the risk aversion set to continue,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary. “There appears to be a whole lot of happenings on the political side of things in the U.S., not cutting any slack for the battered stock market.”
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 3 cents to $45.56 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 0.6 percent to settle at $45.59 in New York on Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 5 cents to $53.87 a barrel. It lost 1 percent to $53.82 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 110.99 yen from 111.22 in late trading Friday. The euro rose to $1.1394 from $1.1372.