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World markets mixed as investors monitor earnings

A cleaner walks by investors monitor stock prices at a brokerage house in Beijing, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. Asian markets are mixed on Wednesday after U.S. companies, including those that outperformed in the third quarter, cautioned against escalating a trade dispute with China. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

SINGAPORE (AP) — World markets were mixed on Wednesday as traders mulled the impact of tariffs on corporate America after big industrial companies admitted that they were facing rising costs. Investors are looking to new company earnings for further clues.

KEEPING SCORE: The CAC 40 in France was up 0.8 percent at 5,006 and Germany’s DAX added 0.4 percent to 11,314. Britain’s FTSE 100 picked up 0.8 percent to 7,012. Wall Street looked set for a bleak open, though, with the contract for the S&P 500 down 0.6 percent and that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average off 0.4 percent.

THE DAY IN ASIA: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.4 percent to 22,091.18 as a private survey pointed to a recovery in manufacturing in October. The Shanghai Composite index, which closed more than 2 percent lower on Tuesday, added 0.3 percent to 2,603.30. India’s Sensex jumped 0.6 percent to 34,055.47. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 0.4 percent to 25,249.78 and the Kospi in South Korea gave up 0.4 percent to 2,097.58. Australia’s S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.2 percent to 5,829.00. Otherwise, shares were lower across the region apart from in Singapore.

U.S. EARNINGS: Sentiment has been dampened as large U.S. companies kicked off a busy earnings week with warnings of rising costs related to tariffs. Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar posted a larger profit and revenue than expected in the third quarter. But the company said Trump’s taxes on imported steel were driving up production costs, causing its shares to slip 7.6 percent. 3M, the maker of Post-it notes and ceramic coatings, reported disappointing revenues and said it anticipates about $100 million in extra costs next year. That sent its shares tumbling 4.4 percent. On Wednesday, Deutsche Bank shares were down 3 percent after its profits fell. Investors are also looking out for results from Tesla, Microsoft, Visa and UPS.

ANALYST’S TAKE: “The likes of Caterpillar Inc. and 3M Co. were seen undermining market confidence with the forecasts of weaker earnings ahead and reminders of rising costs amid the escalating trade tensions,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a market commentary.

JAPAN FACTORY OUTLOOK: A rise in the preliminary, or “flash” purchasing manager’s index to 53.1 in October from 52.5 the month before raised hopes that recent sluggishness in manufacturing demand may have been transient. A revival in new export orders, to 51.7, a seven-month high, was viewed as especially good news given concerns over China-U.S. trade tensions. Readings above 50 in the survey indicate expansion. Joe Hayes, an economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, said it “indicated stronger expansions in all the key barometers of macroeconomic health”.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 3 cents to $66.46 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 7 cents to settle at $66.43 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 38 cents to $76.06 per barrel. In the previous session, it dropped $3.39 to $76.44 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 112.62 yen from 112.42 yen on Tuesday. The euro eased to $1.1407 from $1.1473.

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