A man stands in front of an electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index outside a local bank in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

World shares mixed on news that Italy may ease spending

October 03, 2018 - 2:53 am

SINGAPORE (AP) — Global shares were mixed Wednesday after reports suggested Italy will rein in spending after 2019, following heavy criticism of its budget plans.

KEEPING SCORE: The CAC 40 in France edged 0.1 percent higher to 5,472.12 and Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent to 7,482.23. Italy's FTSE MIB gained 0.3 percent to 20,623.32, after a string of losses. German markets were closed for a national holiday. U.S. indexes were poised to open higher. Dow futures gained 0.2 percent to 26,865.00. The broader S&P 500 futures rose 0.2 percent to 2,935.50.

ITALY'S SPENDING: The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported the government will reduce its budget deficit targets after 2019. It said the deficit will be set at up to 2.4 percent of gross domestic product next year as announced. But it will likely be cut to 2.2 percent in 2020 and 2 percent in 2021. Markets reacted with relief: Italy has the second highest level of debt in the eurozone after Greece. On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio insisted the government "will not back up one millimeter" from its new spending plans, despite criticism from other members in the 19-country bloc.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "Given the emotional nature of Italian politics, there will be lots of political maneuvering ahead of the final decision, so the market will probably be less keen to extrapolate too much out of today's headline," Stephen Innes of OANDA said in a commentary.

ASIA'S DAY: In Asia, traders were spooked by rising oil prices and lackluster Japanese data. The jitters were particularly evident in emerging markets that import oil. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.7 percent to 24,110.96. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.1 percent to 27,091.26. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.3 percent to 6,146.10. Stocks fell in Taiwan but rebounded in Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. Markets in South Korea and the Chinese mainland were closed.

JAPAN SERVICES PMI: Japan's services industry grew at its slowest pace in two years in September, a private survey showed Wednesday. The Markit/Nikkei Japan services purchasing managers index came in at 50.2 in September, down from 51.5 in the previous month. Readings above 50 indicate expansion on the index's 100-point scale.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude recovered on Wednesday, shed 2 cents to $75.21 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract closed at $75.23 in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 18 cents to $84.98 per barrel. It slipped 0.2 percent to $84.80 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.81 yen from 113.69 yen. The euro strengthened to $1.1565 from $1.1545.