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Global Actions Advance as Centrists Lose Ground in EU Vote

BANGKOK – Shares rose on Monday in Europe after centrists lost ground to ecologist and pro-corporate groups in the 28-nation parliamentary assembly elections, Reuters reported Monday.
The German DAX rose 0.5% to 12,066.21 and the CAC 40 in France, from 0.3% to 5,332.66. Markets have been closed in Great Britain. With US markets closed for Memorial Day holidays, the future contract for the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.1% to $25,652.00 and the S & P 500 market remained virtually unchanged at 2,832. 90.
Fiat Chrysler on Monday proposed a merger with French Renault, under an agreement that would create the world’s third-largest car maker and save the billions needed to invest in the race to create new electric and autonomous vehicles.
Shares of both companies jumped on reports of a merger. The joint venture would be owned 50% by shareholders of Fiat Chrysler and 50% by shareholders of Renault, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said in a statement.
In the European elections, far-right and populist parties were among the big winners, with voters expressing concerns about immigration and security. But the green parties have also made significant gains, particularly in Germany, at the expense of the center-right and left-wing groups that have dominated the EU.
“Polls coming out of the European elections suggest that Euro-skeptical nationalists have won more seats, but are far from dislodging the majority leadership of the majority party and other pro-European parties,” Mizuho Bank said in a commentary. This is likely to raise the euro, he added, “as markets neutralize the worst results of nationalist parties preventing policy changes for further European integration.”
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3% to 21,182.58, after visiting President Donald Trump, who expects a trade deal with Tokyo after the Japanese elections in July.
The Trump administration is seeking a bilateral trade agreement with Japan following its withdrawal from the Pacific Rim trade bloc, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Both sides are working to fill gaps in trade in agricultural products, motor vehicles and parts.
“We are working on the imbalance on trade because there has been a huge imbalance and we are working on it, and I’m sure it will work over a period of time,” Trump said. He said via Twitter that he expected an agreement in August.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.2% to 27,288.09 and Kospi in South Korea edged down 0.1% to 2,044.21. In Australia, the S & P ASX 200 edged down 4.1 points to 6,451.90.
The Shanghai Composite index jumped 1.4% to 2,892.38 and the Sensex Indian index added 0.8% to 39,752.63. Shares in Taiwan were also higher. Shares climbed in Jakarta and Thailand but fell in Singapore.
The stocks posted modest gains Friday on Wall Street, wiping out some of the heavy losses in yesterday’s market, but not enough for the market to avoid a third consecutive weekly loss.
Equity benchmarks fluctuated between gains and losses as investors weighed on the prospect of a prolonged trade war between the United States and China. Trade has been volatile since the escalation of the conflict earlier this month, with both parties increasing tariffs on their products.
Financials dominated Friday’s purchases, as the 10-year Treasury Note yield reversed some of the sharp decline a day earlier. It was at 2.32% Friday night. Rising yields raise interest rates on loans, making them more profitable.
The S & P 500 rose 0.1% to 2,826.06, ending the week with a loss of 2.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4% to 25,585.69. The Nasdaq composite added 0.1% to 7,637.01. Smaller stocks held up better and the Russell 2000 index rose 0.9% to 1,514.11.11.
The eleventh round of trade negotiations between the United States and China ended without any agreement. Instead, the United States has decided to increase tariffs on Chinese products, prompting China to do the same. The trade dispute escalated further after the United States proposed to restrict technology sales in China.
President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he plans to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at a summit.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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