World stocks, oil price stabilize amid geopolitical concerns

A woman walks past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a local bank in Hong Kong, Thursday, April 12, 2018. Asian shares were mixed Thursday as investors digested the latest Fed minutes while geopolitical concerns overshadowed sentiment after President Donald Trump struck a defiant tone on the Middle East conflict. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A woman walks past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a local bank in Hong Kong, Thursday, April 12, 2018. Asian shares were mixed Thursday as investors digested the latest Fed minutes while geopolitical concerns overshadowed sentiment after President Donald Trump struck a defiant tone on the Middle East conflict.(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A woman walks past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a local bank in Hong Kong, Thursday, April 12, 2018. Asian shares were mixed Thursday as investors digested the latest Fed minutes while geopolitical concerns overshadowed sentiment after President Donald Trump struck a defiant tone on the Middle East conflict.(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

HONG KONG — Global stock markets recovered their poise Thursday and the price of oil came off three-year highs as investors digested U.S. President Donald Trump's defiant comments on the Middle East conflict.

KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 was down less than 0.1 percent to 7,257 and France's CAC 40 edged 0.3 percent higher to 5,290. Germany's DAX gained 0.4 percent to 12,348. Wall Street was poised for small gains on the open. Dow futures rose 0.4 percent and the broader S&P 500 futures were up 0.5 percent.

TRUMP TALKS TOUGH: In a tweet, Trump suggested that he wanted to retaliate against Russia after the recent suspected chemical attack in Syria. Separately, Saudi Arabia said it intercepted missiles fired by rebels in Yemen as well as drones that targeted an oil facility. The prospect of escalating conflict in the Middle East has sparked fears about tighter oil supplies, driving crude prices to their highest since December 2014.

ASIAN SCORECARD: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index dipped 0.1 percent to close at 21,660.28 while the Kospi in South Korea ended 0.1 percent lower at 2,442.71. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.2 percent to 30,831.28 and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China slid 0.8 percent to 3,180.16. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.2 percent to 5,815.50. Indexes in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia also lost ground but shares in Thailand and the Philippines rose.

FED MINUTES: At their most recent meeting in March, Federal Reserve policymakers said they felt the U.S. central bank might have to raise interest rates faster than expected to keep up with quickening economic growth and rising inflation that's coming close to their 2 percent target, according to the latest minutes. Officials otherwise stuck mainly to the same policy language they've used since they began raising rates in December 2015, gradually dialing back the extraordinarily loose monetary policy that had supported financial markets. Some analysts also noted that the meeting was held before recent U.S.-China trade tensions flared up, which could have prompted some officials to ease their views.

ENERGY: Oil futures eased after hitting a three-year high. Benchmark U.S. crude lost 11 cents to $66.71 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract climbed 2 percent to settle at $66.82 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 18 cents to $71.88 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 107.12 yen from 106.79 yen in late trading Wednesday. The euro slipped to $1.2345 from $1.2369.

People also read these

Global markets mixed after Wall Street loss

Dec 23, 2016

Asian markets are mostly lower while Europe has gained in early trading ahead of the Christmas...

Asia shares falter as investors watch dollar, await job data

Jan 6, 2017

Asian shares are wavering as a weaker dollar discourages investors who are shying away from risky...

World stocks turn lower as investors monitor volatile dollar

Jan 18, 2017

World stocks are mostly lower after a sharp drop in the dollar sapped investor enthusiasm

Global stocks slip amid concern over Trump policies on trade

Jan 23, 2017

Major global stock markets are lower after Donald Trump took office as U.S. president and promised...

EU asks China to open markets following free trade support

Jan 25, 2017

The European Union ambassador to China has welcomed its endorsement of free trade in the face of...

AseanCoverage is a next-gen news site focusing exclusively on online news from South East Asia.

Contact us: sales[at]aseancoverage.com