World stocks lackluster ahead of US growth update

Associated Press

MUMBAI, India (AP) — World stock markets were mostly down Thursday ahead of U.S. government reports on jobs and economic growth.

Expectations the data would paint a mixed picture of the world's biggest economy instilled caution among investors.

In early European trading, Germany's DAX was down 0.1 percent at 9,933.78 and France's CAC 40 edged down 0.2 percent to 4,522.77. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent to 6,870.10.

But futures pointed to modest gains on Wall Street after trading lower for the first time in five days Wednesday. Dow futures were up 0.1 percent to 16,647.30 and S&P 500 futures rose 0.1 percent to 1,911.80.

The revision to first-quarter U.S. growth due later in the day is likely to show a 0.7 percent contraction in the economy, Credit Agricole analyst Daniel Lee said in a commentary. Claims for unemployment benefits will also be released.

"Although the jobless claim numbers are likely to improve, the downward revision of U.S. GDP will further dampen the market mood," he said. Still, some analysts believe that U.S. growth is bouncing back in the current quarter.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 closed up 0.1 percent at 14,681.72 while South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.2 percent to close at 2,012.26. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.1 percent to 5,519.50.

India's Sensex, which has gained in past sessions on the swearing in of pro-business Prime Minister Narendra Modi, slipped 0.7 percent to 24,391.22.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.3 percent to 23,010.14 and China's Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.5 percent at 2,040.60.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude for July delivery was up 8 cents to $102.80 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped $1.39 to close Wednesday at $102.72.

The euro rose to $1.3619 from $1.3595 late Wednesday. The dollar fell to 101.53 yen from 101.78 yen.

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