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World stocks struggle as French elections loom, North Korea worries

Oil prices, which fell sharply on supply news, regained some of their losses

Reuters  |  London 

dollar, forex, euro, stocks
An illustration picture shows euro and US dollar banknotes and coins

World eked out small gains on Thursday as investors resisted risky bets ahead of the first round of the French presidential over the weekend.

Oil prices, which fell sharply on Wednesday on supply news, regained some of their losses.

In general, cautiously stuck to well-worn trading ranges buffeted by concern over political risks and continued tensions over

Europe's STOXX 600 rose 0.1 per cent bolstered by strong sales reported by consumer sector bellwether Unilever. The FTSE 100, which has slid into negative territory for the year, was little changed.

In Asian hours, Japanese failed to hold on to slim gains and closed flat on the day.

MSCI's world stock index was up 0.13 per cent.

"Given the binary risk of the and geopolitical concerns over North Korea, investors are staying on the sidelines," said Fan Cheuk Wan, head of investment strategy and advisory, Asia, at HSBC Private Banking.

A run of disappointing US economic data and questions about whether the Trump administration can push through tax cuts have dented some of the enthusiasm for risky assets in recent weeks.

A sharp dip to three-week lows in oil prices overnight was the latest sign of an unwind in the reflation trade. Crude oil clawed back some of the loss but concerns about a supply glut capped the rebound.

"Rising US oil inventory data is now starting to impact the market's aggressive long position in crude," said analysts at Morgan Stanley in a note to clients.

Brent crude futures were up 0.5 per cent to $53.22 a barrel after sliding more than 3 per cent in the previous session. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 0.4 per cent.

In currency markets, the euro rose 0.4 per cent to a three-week high of $1.0748 against the dollar. The greenback was 0.2 per cent weaker against a basket of major currencies.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron held on to his lead as favourite to emerge as the eventual victor in the French presidential election, a closely watched poll showed, although it indicated that the outcome of the first round of voting on Sunday was too close to call.

Millions of French voters remain undecided, making this the least predictable vote in France in decades, and raising fears of a potential surprise result that could spread turmoil in

France's borrowing costs nudged down on Thursday before a bond auction that is likely to be watched more closely than usual, coming just ahead of Sunday's presidential

French bonds have come under heavy selling pressure this year as an unpredictable race unfolded, with strong support for far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and the far-left's Jean-Luc Melenchon, both anti-euro, alarming investors.

Most other euro zone bond yields were little changed on the day.

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World stocks struggle as French elections loom, North Korea worries

Oil prices, which fell sharply on supply news, regained some of their losses

Oil prices, which fell sharply on supply news, regained some of their losses

World eked out small gains on Thursday as investors resisted risky bets ahead of the first round of the French presidential over the weekend.

Oil prices, which fell sharply on Wednesday on supply news, regained some of their losses.

In general, cautiously stuck to well-worn trading ranges buffeted by concern over political risks and continued tensions over

Europe's STOXX 600 rose 0.1 per cent bolstered by strong sales reported by consumer sector bellwether Unilever. The FTSE 100, which has slid into negative territory for the year, was little changed.

In Asian hours, Japanese failed to hold on to slim gains and closed flat on the day.

MSCI's world stock index was up 0.13 per cent.

"Given the binary risk of the and geopolitical concerns over North Korea, investors are staying on the sidelines," said Fan Cheuk Wan, head of investment strategy and advisory, Asia, at HSBC Private Banking.

A run of disappointing US economic data and questions about whether the Trump administration can push through tax cuts have dented some of the enthusiasm for risky assets in recent weeks.

A sharp dip to three-week lows in oil prices overnight was the latest sign of an unwind in the reflation trade. Crude oil clawed back some of the loss but concerns about a supply glut capped the rebound.

"Rising US oil inventory data is now starting to impact the market's aggressive long position in crude," said analysts at Morgan Stanley in a note to clients.

Brent crude futures were up 0.5 per cent to $53.22 a barrel after sliding more than 3 per cent in the previous session. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 0.4 per cent.

In currency markets, the euro rose 0.4 per cent to a three-week high of $1.0748 against the dollar. The greenback was 0.2 per cent weaker against a basket of major currencies.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron held on to his lead as favourite to emerge as the eventual victor in the French presidential election, a closely watched poll showed, although it indicated that the outcome of the first round of voting on Sunday was too close to call.

Millions of French voters remain undecided, making this the least predictable vote in France in decades, and raising fears of a potential surprise result that could spread turmoil in

France's borrowing costs nudged down on Thursday before a bond auction that is likely to be watched more closely than usual, coming just ahead of Sunday's presidential

French bonds have come under heavy selling pressure this year as an unpredictable race unfolded, with strong support for far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and the far-left's Jean-Luc Melenchon, both anti-euro, alarming investors.

Most other euro zone bond yields were little changed on the day.

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Business Standard
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World stocks struggle as French elections loom, North Korea worries

Oil prices, which fell sharply on supply news, regained some of their losses

World eked out small gains on Thursday as investors resisted risky bets ahead of the first round of the French presidential over the weekend.

Oil prices, which fell sharply on Wednesday on supply news, regained some of their losses.

In general, cautiously stuck to well-worn trading ranges buffeted by concern over political risks and continued tensions over

Europe's STOXX 600 rose 0.1 per cent bolstered by strong sales reported by consumer sector bellwether Unilever. The FTSE 100, which has slid into negative territory for the year, was little changed.

In Asian hours, Japanese failed to hold on to slim gains and closed flat on the day.

MSCI's world stock index was up 0.13 per cent.

"Given the binary risk of the and geopolitical concerns over North Korea, investors are staying on the sidelines," said Fan Cheuk Wan, head of investment strategy and advisory, Asia, at HSBC Private Banking.

A run of disappointing US economic data and questions about whether the Trump administration can push through tax cuts have dented some of the enthusiasm for risky assets in recent weeks.

A sharp dip to three-week lows in oil prices overnight was the latest sign of an unwind in the reflation trade. Crude oil clawed back some of the loss but concerns about a supply glut capped the rebound.

"Rising US oil inventory data is now starting to impact the market's aggressive long position in crude," said analysts at Morgan Stanley in a note to clients.

Brent crude futures were up 0.5 per cent to $53.22 a barrel after sliding more than 3 per cent in the previous session. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 0.4 per cent.

In currency markets, the euro rose 0.4 per cent to a three-week high of $1.0748 against the dollar. The greenback was 0.2 per cent weaker against a basket of major currencies.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron held on to his lead as favourite to emerge as the eventual victor in the French presidential election, a closely watched poll showed, although it indicated that the outcome of the first round of voting on Sunday was too close to call.

Millions of French voters remain undecided, making this the least predictable vote in France in decades, and raising fears of a potential surprise result that could spread turmoil in

France's borrowing costs nudged down on Thursday before a bond auction that is likely to be watched more closely than usual, coming just ahead of Sunday's presidential

French bonds have come under heavy selling pressure this year as an unpredictable race unfolded, with strong support for far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and the far-left's Jean-Luc Melenchon, both anti-euro, alarming investors.

Most other euro zone bond yields were little changed on the day.

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Business Standard
177 22