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Global shares mixed amid worries on coronavirus, economy

TOKYO — Global shares were mixed Friday, with investor attention shifting again to the uncertainties in global economies amid the coronavirus pandemic.

France’s CAC 40 fell 0.4% in early trading to 5,020.87, while Germany’s DAX was little changed at 13,206.92. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.3% to 6,031.25.

U.S. shares were set to be mixed with Dow futures sinking nearly 0.1% to 27,795.5. S&P 500 futures were up nearly 0.1% to 3,353.12.

Market players are watching for a slew of data on the Asian regional economy expected next week, including inflation data from South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

Hong Kong and Thailand are releasing trade data, likely to show declining export growth. Industrial production numbers will be released from Taiwan and Singapore, according to Prakash Sakpal, senior economist Asia at ING.

And Asian central banks are likely to follow the Federal Reserve and make no policy change.

“There was nothing exciting about the three regional central bank meetings this week in Japan, Taiwan or Indonesia. And, we think it will be the same case for the next three meetings in China, Thailand and New Zealand next week,” said Sakpal.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.2% to finish at 23,360.30. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.3% to 2,412.40. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.3% to 5,864.50. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.5% to 24,455.41, while the Shanghai Composite edged up 2.1% to 3,338.09.

Another slide in technology companies helped pull stocks lower on Wall Street Thursday, extending losses from the day before.

“Hesitations as to whether the U.S. economy can sustain the current pace of recovery amid the lack of additional fiscal policy support and the Fed standing put on stimulus had the market reeling once again,” said Jingy Pan, senior market analyst at IG.

“The Fed hangover had seen to a conundrum for Asia markets with muted moves noted going into Friday between the Wall Street decline and the greenback weakness post Fed meeting.”

Signs of a weaker economic recovery and a potential second wave of the virus are weighing on investors.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude gained 14 cents to US$41.11 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, added 15 cents to $43.45 a barrel.

The dollar cost 104.57 Japanese yen, down from 104.63 yen Thursday. The euro stood at $1.1850, up from $1.1804.

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