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Global shares advance on strong data
October 03, 2017
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TOKYO: Solid manufacturing surveys helped support share prices in Europe and Asia on Monday. However, Spanish stocks and the euro underperformed amid concerns over what is going on in the Spanish region of Catalonia following a disputed independence referendum over the weekend that saw hundreds of people injured.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX advanced 0.2 per cent to 12,856 while the CAC 40 of France rose 0.1 per cent to 5,336. The FTSE 100 of Britain added 0.5 per cent to 7,410. Wall Street looked set for modest gains at the bell, with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.2 per cent.

Spain’s Ibex 35 fell 1.3 per cent while the euro was 0.7 per cent lower at $1.1733 as investors tried to gauge what the weekend unrest in Catalonia means for the future of the Spain and European unity. The future of Catalonia is hugely important for Spain, as the region, whose capital is Barcelona, represents a fifth of the national economy. Polls consistently show that while most of its 7.5 million residents favored a referendum, they are roughly evenly split on the question of independence from Spain.

“While the vote isn’t legally binding, traders are clearly a little concerned about the impact that the vote, not to mention how the situation was handled by the Spanish authorities,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.

The uncertainty over Spain comes at a time when the eurozone economy is clearly performing strongly. Official figures released Monday show that the number of unemployed people fell by 42,000 across the region in August, though the headline rate remained at 9.1 per cent, its lowest level since early 2009. And financial information company IHS Markit said that business activity in the manufacturing sector rose to a level that’s only been higher once in the 17-year history of the survey. Its main purchasing managers’ index rose to 58.1 points in September from August’s 57.4.

The Bank of Japan’s quarterly “tankan” survey showed an improved outlook for the world’s third-largest economy. The survey of leading manufacturers indicated growing shortages of factory capacity that could compel companies to invest more, helping to drive growth. Another, private sector survey, the Nikkei purchasing managers’ index, likewise showed manufacturers increasing output to meet a rise in new orders.

Associated Press

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