Global stocks lower, US economic data awaited

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BEIJING (AP) — Global stocks were mostly lower Tuesday as investors digested signals from the Jackson Hole meeting of central bankers and looked ahead to data expected to show an improving U.S. economy.

KEEPING SCORE: In morning trading, France's CAC-40 was off 0.1 percent at 4,338.03 and Germany's DAX was down 0.4 percent at 9,473.80. Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.3 percent to 6,793 after being closed Monday for a public holiday. Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and the broader Standard & Poor's 500 were little changed. On Monday, the S&P briefly rose past the 2,000-point mark and closed at a second record high in a week.

DOLLAR BOOST: The U.S. dollar has risen against major currencies since Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's speech to the Jackson Hole, Wyoming conference Friday was seized upon by traders as suggesting the Fed is inching toward interest rate hikes because of faster-than-expected improvement in employment. The dollar's strength was reinforced by comments from Japanese and European central bankers that suggested their economies will remain on life-support for longer than the U.S.

ASIA'S DAY: China's Shanghai Composite Index declined 1 percent to 2,207.11 while Tokyo's Nikkei 225 shed 0.6 percent to 15,521.22. Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.4 percent to 25,074.50 and India's Sensex was off 0.4 percent at 26,340.20. Singapore and Jakarta declined while Seoul and Sydney gained.

U.S. OUTLOOK: Investors looked ahead to Tuesday's data on durable goods orders, followed by economic growth on Thursday. Durable goods spending is expected to rise as much as 18 percent over the previous month, driven by a surge in aircraft sales by Boeing Co. That could help to shore up sentiment after new home sales fell 2.4 percent last month, suggesting a construction recovery was struggling.

ANALYST TAKE: "We expect this week's U.S. growth numbers to be mixed but positive," said Jim O'Sullivan of High Frequency Economics in a report.

UKRAINE TENSIONS: The presidents of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus were due to meet Tuesday in Minsk, Belarus, in a possible step toward trying to reach a negotiated end to unrest in Ukraine. Tension over an insurgency by pro-Russian forces has roiled energy markets, which worried about the impact of possible Western sanctions on Russian oil exports.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude for October delivery was up 16 cents to $93.51 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract declined 30 cents on Monday to close at $93.35.

CURRENCIES: Major currencies stabilized after losing ground to the dollar. The euro rose to $1.3204 from the previous session's $1.3181. The dollar declined to 103.91 yen from Monday's close of 104.09 yen.