SEOUL, South Korea — Global stock markets were higher Thursday as investors looked ahead to a summit of leaders where U.S. President Donald Trump is likely to be challenged over his trade policies.
KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 rose 0.3 percent to 5,473.31 and Germany's DAX gained 0.2 percent to 12,856.86. Britain's FTSE 100 fell to 7,708.96 after London's Stock Exchange opened one hour late because of a technical problem. On Wall Street, the future for the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 0.9 percent and that for the Dow Jones industrial average gained 1.4 percent.
GLOBAL TRADE: The summit of leaders from the Group of Seven industrialized nations will take place Friday and Saturday in Canada, and Trump's trade war is at the top of the agenda. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has called his trade tariffs "unjustifiable," and both France and Canada call for international cooperation to tackle Trump's aggressive trade policies.
EUROPE: The euro rose against the dollar after a European Central Bank board member said policymakers will discuss next week withdrawing its bond-purchasing stimulus, suggesting the ECB wasn't overly worried about Italian government plans. Peter Praet's remarks suggested the June 14 meeting would bring hints about the end of the bond purchases. The bank currently says it will buy 30 billion euros ($35 billion) a month at least through September. The euro was up to $1.1822 from $1.1760 the day before.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 0.9 percent to 22,823.26 while the Shanghai Composite Index finished 0.2 percent lower at 3,109.50. South Korea's Kospi finished up 0.7 percent to 2,470.58 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index advanced 0.8 percent to 31,512.63. Australia's S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.5 percent to 6,057.30 and India's Sensex surged just over 1 percent to 35,547.13. Benchmarks rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.
ANALYST'S TAKE: "Overnight market action suggests investor confidence is growing," said Michael McCarthy of CMC Markets in a report. He said gains on reports the ECB would review unwinding its stimulus indicated "belief that the economic drivers of higher interest rates were sufficiently strong to sustain asset prices."
CURRENCIES: The dollar increased slightly against the Japanese yen, rising to 110.05 yen from 109.85 yen.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude added 21 cents to $65.38 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It shed 1.2 percent to settle at $64.73 the previous session. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 35 cents to $76.44 per barrel in London. The contract lost 1 cent on Wednesday to settle at $75.36.