Tepid start to the week in markets as Trump remains in focus

By The Canadian Press
February 5, 2017 - 7:45pm

LONDON — European stock markets traded in narrow ranges Monday amid a dearth of economic data and as investors gauged the fallout from President Donald Trump's ban on refugees and travellers from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, France's CAC 40 slipped 0.1 per cent in early trading to 4,818 while Germany's DAX fell 0.5 per cent to 11,594. Britain's FTSE 100 bucked the trend to trade 0.1 per cent higher at 7,196. U.S. shares were set for a tepid start, with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures down 0.1 per cent.

TRUMP WATCH: Trump's early acts as president have been shaping markets for the past couple of weeks. On Friday, Trump directed the treasury secretary to look for potential changes to the Dodd-Frank law, which reshaped financial regulations after the 2008-09 financial crisis. Investors applauded that move but remain uncertain about the future impact of other policies. Over the weekend, the U.S. immigration ban on refugees and travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries was blocked by a federal judge and an appeals court turned down a Justice Department request to set that judgment aside. The White House said it expects the courts to restore executive order, which was founded on a claim of national security.

ANALYST TAKE: "The unpredictable nature of Trump makes it very difficult to anticipate what his next moves will be, as evidenced by his actions a week ago on immigration," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. "This may ensure for now at least that while markets have remained volatile, a more cautious approach will be adopted during the bedding in period."

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.3 per cent to 18,976.71. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost earlier gains and inched down 0.1 per cent to 5,615.60. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.2 per cent to 2,077.66. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 1.0 per cent at 23,348.24, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.5 per cent to 3,156.98. Benchmarks were also higher in Taiwan and Singapore.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 13 cents to $53.96 a barrel in New York. It added 29 cents to $53.83 a barrel Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 10 cents to $56.91 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The euro was down 0.5 per cent at $1.0730 while the dollar slipped 0.3 per cent to 112.32 yen.

The Associated Press

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