World shares are mixed in Europe and mostly higher in Asia after President Donald Trump and a senior Chinese envoy said trade talks in Washington were making progress.
Britain’s FTSE 100 edged 0.1% higher to 7,408.92 after Prime Minister Theresa May requested a further Brexit extension from the European Union until June 30 to give the U.K. breathing room since it is now scheduled to leave the bloc in just one week.
European Council President Donald Tusk proposed a longer time frame, urging the 27 other EU nations to offer the U.K. a flexible extension of up to a year to make sure the nation doesn’t crash out of the bloc in a chaotic and costly way.
Wall Street looked set for gains, with the future contract for the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1% to 26,425.00 while that for the S&P 500 climbed 0.2% to 2,886.90.
Investors are also keeping a close watch on the latest rounds of U.S.-China trade negotiations. President Donald Trump said Thursday that the two sides were “rounding the turn” in the talks, which resumed Wednesday in Washington.
No details were announced but Trump said after meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He that “something monumental” could be announced within weeks.
Liu, China’s top trade negotiator, told Trump that “because of your direct involvement, we do have great progress.”
The dispute over technology policy, involving punitive tariffs imposed by both sides, has rattled markets and cast a pall over the outlook for the global economy.
Chinese markets were closed Friday for holidays, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 index added 0.4% to 21,807.50. The Kospi in South Korea edged 0.1% higher to 2,209.61. The S&P ASX in Australia dropped 0.8% to 6,181.30, while India’s Sensex rose 0.2% to 38,773.02. Shares fell in New Zealand and Indonesia but rose in Singapore and Malaysia.
Markets have been wobbly throughout the week as investors wait for the U.S. government’s jobs report on Friday and prepare for a new round of corporate earnings reports next week.
SAMSUNG PROFIT PLUNGES: Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday that its operating profit likely fell more than 60% in January-March from a year earlier amid falling memory chip prices and slowing demand for display panels. The South Korean technology giant estimated an operating profit of 6.2 trillion won ($5.4 billion) for the January-March quarter, which would represent a 60.4% drop from the same period last year. The company said revenue likely fell 14% to 52 trillion won ($45.8 billion).
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.71 Japanese yen from 111.66 yen. The euro rose to $1.1233 from $1.1221.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 4 cents to $62.14 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It dropped 0.6% to settle at $62.10 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 9 cents to $69.31 per barrel.