Global stocks mostly fall on German election, North Korea worries

Ben PERRY
 

Global stocks mostly fell Monday and the euro tumbled on unease over the German election outcome and the increasingly hostile war of words between Washington and Pyongyang over North Korea's nuclear program.

Investors worried about looming political infighting in Germany after an election that won Angela Merkel a fourth term as chancellor, but also gave a hard-right opposition party parliamentary seats for the first time.

"The markets' initial reaction to the outcome of the German federal election has been negative," said Fawad Razaqzada, an analyst at Forex.com. Merkel's "poor showing" was weighing on the euro.

The euro dropped more than 0.8 percent against the dollar compared with Friday at $1.1846.

Worries about North Korea returned to the forefront after the country's foreign minister accused US President Donald Trump of declaring war and said Pyongyang was ready to defend itself by shooting down US bombers. The White House dismissed the claim as "absurd."

Major equity markets across Europe also were lower by the end of trading although Frankfurt managed a stable finish, partly thanks to the eurozone currency's weakness which tends to favor exporters.

In New York, the broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.2 percent, with the tech-rich Nasdaq (Frankfurt: 813516 - news) sliding a more substantial 0.9 percent. Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) , Amazon, Microsoft (Euronext: MSF.NX - news) and Google-parent Alphabet (Xetra: ABEA.DE - news) each lost one percent or more as analysts pointed to signs of a shift to sectors that have not done as well in 2017.

But petroleum-linked companies such as ExxonMobil, Halliburton (Swiss: HAL.SW - news) and Schlumberger (IOB: 0CT7.IL - news) advanced one percent or more after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to block the key oil exports from Iraq's Kurdish region which is holding an independence referendum.

Brent oil prices jumped nearly four percent to $59.02 per barrel, its highest level since July 2015.

- Key figures around 2100 GMT -

New York - DOW: DOWN 0.2 percent at 22,296.09 (close)

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.2 percent at 2,496.66 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 0.9 percent at 6,370.59 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,301.29 points (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: FLAT at 12,594.81 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.3 percent at 5,267.13 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,537.81

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.5 percent at 20,397.58 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 1.4 percent at 27,500.34 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,341.55 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1846 from $1.1947 at 2100 GMT on Friday

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 111.68 yen from 112.01 yen

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3465 from $1.3486

Oil - Brent North Sea: UP $2.16 cents at $59.02 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP $1.56 at $52.22 per barrel

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