Global stocks mixed as investors await US tax deal

A woman walks past an electronic stock board showing the Hang Seng Index at a bank in Hong Kong, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. Asian stock markets were mostly lower Friday as uncertainty over a sweeping U.S. tax revamp outweighed an optimistic Japanese economic survey. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
A woman walks past an electronic stock board showing the Hang Seng Index at a bank in Hong Kong, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. Asian stock markets were mostly lower Friday as uncertainty over a sweeping U.S. tax revamp outweighed an optimistic Japanese economic survey. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
An electronic stock board shows the Hang Seng Index at a bank in Hong Kong, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. Asian stock markets were mostly lower Friday as uncertainty over a sweeping U.S. tax revamp outweighed an optimistic Japanese economic survey. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

HONG KONG — World stock markets were mixed on Friday as investors waited to see if U.S. politicians could pass tax reform legislation before Christmas.

KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 shed 0.4 percent to 5,337 and Germany's DAX lost 0.2 percent to 13,044. Britain's FTSE 100 edged up 0.1 percent to 7,458 after EU leaders said they would allow the Brexit talks to move on to the next stage, including trade. Wall Street was poised to open slightly higher. Both the Dow and S&P 500 futures were up 0.3 percent.

TAXING TIME: President Donald Trump's $1.5 trillion U.S. tax overhaul was teetering on a knife-edge in the Senate, complicating Republican leaders' goal of pushing it through Congress next week and shaking investor confidence. Senator Marco Rubio vowed to vote against the bill, which gives generous tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy, unless child tax credits are expanded. The bill's original version was approved by only 51-49, with Rubio's support.

MARKET INSIGHT: For the week ahead, "the main focus will be on whether the tax reform package will be wrapped up by the year's end and a longer spending package will be agreed to head off a partial government shutdown on December 23," said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital in Sydney. The uncertainty adds to investor risk but "a correction is likely to wait till next year," he added.

JAPAN SURVEY: Corporate sentiment in Asia's second biggest economy is at an 11-year high, according to a quarterly survey. The Bank of Japan's "tankan" large manufacturers' business outlook based on a poll of more than 10,000 companies posted its strongest reading since late 2006, in the latest sign that the economy is gaining momentum.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index dipped 0.6 percent to close at 22,553.22 but South Korea's Kospi climbed 0.5 percent to 2,482.07. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.1 percent to 28,848.11 and the Shanghai Composite index lost 0.8 percent to 3,266.14. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 sank 0.2 percent to 5,997.00. Indexes in Taiwan and Southeast Asia declined.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 112.20 yen from 112.37 yen on Thursday. The euro rose to $1.1809 from $1.1776.

ENERGY: Oil futures advanced. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 20 cents to $57.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 44 cents on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 5 cents to $63.36 per barrel in London.

Must Read

Aid groups warn of crisis as Mongolia hit by...

Dec 21, 2016

Another unusually harsh winter in Mongolia that's decimating livestock and sending temperatures to...

China's Xi offers populist message in New Year's...

Dec 31, 2016

Chinese President Xi Jinping says his government will continue to focus on poverty alleviation at...

China begins to ease its 2,000-year-old monopoly...

Jan 3, 2017

China has started an overhaul of its salt industry, easing a monopoly that has existed in some form...

China state media call Trump's Taiwan strategy...

Jan 16, 2017

China's state-run media says President-elect Donald Trump "speaks like a rookie" and called his...

'One China principle' not negotiable, China tells...

Jan 16, 2017

Responding to remarks by Donald Trump, China's Foreign Ministry says the country's "one-China...

People also read these

US tycoon's China scholarship project opens doors...

Sep 10, 2016

A new scholarship program intended to rival the prestigious Rhodes Scholarships and build...

Tesla's Autopilot system under scrutiny in fatal...

Sep 15, 2016

Tesla faces new scrutiny in China about its vehicle Autopilot system after state television...

China plans 30,000-km high speed rail network by...

Dec 29, 2016

The Chinese government is planning to expand the country's high-speed rail network to 30,000...

McDonald's sells China business in deal worth up...

Jan 9, 2017

Fast-food giant McDonald's is selling a controlling stake in its China business to a group of...

Chinese factory makes giant inflatable...

Jan 13, 2017

A Chinese factory has been doing a brisk business selling giant inflatable roosters, some as tall...

Weather, 20 December
Houston Weather
+7

High: +11° Low: -2°

Humidity: 83%

Wind: NNE - 7 KPH

Canberra Weather
+27

High: +27° Low: +17°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: W - 20 KPH

Roissy-en-France Weather
+6

High: +6° Low: -5°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: ENE - 7 KPH

Florence Weather
+9

High: +9° Low: +6°

Humidity: 97%

Wind: ENE - 17 KPH

Parga Weather
+7

High: +16° Low: +4°

Humidity: 100%

Wind: SE - 25 KPH