People walk by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. Asian shares were mostly higher Monday after a buying spree on Wall Street kept up investor optimism into a new week, despite continuing worries about trade tensions. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Trade tensions continue to weigh on global markets

November 19, 2018 - 7:40 am
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LONDON (AP) — Global stock markets traded in fairly narrow ranges Monday amid continuing trade tensions. French carmaker Renault saw its share price tank after partner Nissan accused its chairman of serious misconduct and announced plans to oust him.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, France's CAC 40 was flat at 5,025 while Germany's DAX fell 0.1 percent at 11,332. Britain's FTSE 100 outperformed its counterparts rising 0.6 percent at 0.4 percent to 7,060. U.S. shares were set to open slightly lower with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures down 0.2 percent.

NISSAN BOSS: Nissan Motor Co.'s chairman Carlos Ghosn is to be dismissed after the company said an internal investigation found he under-reported his income by millions of dollars and engaged in other "significant misconduct." The Yokohama-based company, one of the world's largest automakers, said the violations were discovered during an investigation over several months that was instigated by a whistleblower. Ghosn, 64, also allegedly engaged in personal use of company assets, it said. The announcement came after Japanese stock markets had closed so there was no impact on Nissan's share price. However, the share price of French carmaker Renault, with which Nissan is in partnership, was down 10 percent at 57.86 euros.

BREXIT: British Prime Minister Theresa May was striving to win business support for her Brexit deal with the European Union, but remained on a collision course with lawmakers seeking to unseat her. In a speech Monday, May planned to say the deal "fulfils the wishes of the British people as expressed in the 2016 referendum" to leave the EU, and the withdrawal has already been decided upon. Some pro-Brexit lawmakers in May's Conservative Party oppose the deal between Britain and the EU. They are trying to gather the 48 lawmakers they need to trigger a no-confidence vote in Parliament.

TRADE WORRIES: Clashes between China and the U.S. at a Pacific Rim summit over the weekend may signal limited prospects for a breakthrough in a standoff over the Trump administration's complaints that Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology as the price of market access. The U.S. has imposed a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods. That tariff is set to rise to 25 percent in January. Another $50 billion of Chinese goods already is subject to 25 percent duties. Beijing has responded with penalty duties on $110 billion of American goods. Talks continue ahead of a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump planned for the G-20 summit later this month.

ANALYST TAKE: "With it being Thanksgiving week the amount of key economic data to be released is limited, so focus is expected to remain on the latest Brexit developments and U.S. trade tensions," said Sam Buckingham, Investment Analyst at Thomas Miller Investment.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.7 percent to finish at 21,821.16 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.7 percent to 26,372.00. The Shanghai Composite index added 0.9 percent to 2,703.51 and India's Sensex climbed 0.6 percent to 35,666.25. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.4 percent to 2,100.06. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.6 percent to 5,693.70. Shares in Southeast Asia were mixed.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 22 cents to $56.68 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 11 cents to $66.87 per barrel.

CURRENCIES: The euro was up $1.1431 while the dollar was flat at 112.78 yen.

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