Japan’s Nikkei Up While European Indices Muted

Asian markets reported a mixed day today as most Asian indices remained subdued but Japan’s Nikkei surged on account of a weaker yen. Chinese equities also took a pause today.

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Asian markets mixed

Among the Asian indices, Australia ASX All Ordinaries floated higher by 0.11% to 5,230.80 while Nikkei 225 jumped 2% to 17,048.55. The optimism in Japanese equities came after investors returned to trading following a long weekend while the yen lost ground.

The Nikkei’s swing was the biggest since March 2. China’s Shanghai SE Composite Index slipped 0.64% to 2,999.36, which put an end to the index’s seven-day long run. Chinese regulators have embraced leniency over margin lending by brokerage firms, which pushed equities up. The Hang Seng was mostly unchanged as it finished the day 0.08% down at 20,666.75 and Taiwan TSEC 50 dipped 0.31% to 8,785.68.

Europe slips

In European markets, most indices opened lower as reports emerged of an explosion near Brussels Airport. On the economic front, France reported the fastest growth in its private sector in the last five months. According to the data released by Markit, the service sector’s robust growth helped offset weak factory performance in France. The region’s composite output index read 51.1 in March versus 49.3 in February. Meanwhile, the service sector PMI surged to a reading of 51.2 this month from 49.2 while the manufacturing index plunged to 49.6 from 50.2.

On the other hand, Germany’s private sector grew at a steady pace in March as Markit reported the country’s composite PMI at 54.1, which remained the same as that of the previous month. During the early trading hours, Britain’s FTSE 100 dipped 23.84 points to 6,160.74 while Euronext 100 slipped 0.59% to 865.70. CAC 40 and DAX too shed 0.60% to 4,401.14 and 0.47% to 9,902 respectively. Swiss Market Index too slumped 0.63% to 7,799.88.

U.S. markets closed the previous day on a positive note as Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 0.12% up at 17,623.87 and S&P 500 Index surged 0.10% to 2,051.60 on account of rising oil prices. U.S. stocks are slightly lower today by about a quarter of a percent.

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