Global stocks slip in Europe as investors remain skittish

SEOUL, South Korea — Global stocks were mixed Thursday, with European stocks declining after gains in Asian, as investors appeared skittish after this week's financial turmoil. The pound rose sharply after the U.K. central bank signaled it could raise interest rates soon.

KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.8 percent to 7,222 points and France's CAC 40 dropped 0.7 percent to 5,218. Germany's DAX declined 1 percent to 12,460. Futures showed Wall Street was due for a lackluster start. S&P and Dow futures were both up less than 0.1 percent.

ANALYST'S VIEW: "Risk sentiment continues to be wobbly in markets," analysts at Mizuho Bank said in a daily note to investors.

UK WARNING: Sentiment in Europe was knocked somewhat by the Bank of England's indication that it could raise its key interest rate in coming months due to stronger global economic growth. The warning pushed up the pound, which gained 0.8 percent on the dollar to $1.3990. It also echoed fears investors have in the U.S., where stronger wage growth has increased expectations of higher rates from the Federal Reserve. Years of low rates and cheap money have helped fuel growth and buoyed stock markets, analysts say.

U.S. BUDGET BATTLE: Uncertainty continued to overshadow the fitful market recovery as Senate leaders brokered a long-sought budget agreement Wednesday that would bring the Pentagon and domestic programs an extra $300 billion over the next two years. Both Democratic liberals and GOP tea party forces were fighting the plan, raising questions about its chances just a day before the latest government shutdown deadline.

ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index rose 1.1 percent to 21,890.86, but the benchmark was still nearly 4 percent below where it started the year. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.5 percent to 2,407.62. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.4 percent to 30,451.27, while the Shanghai Composite index sank 1.4 percent to 3,262.05. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2 percent to 5,890.70. Stocks in Taiwan were down slightly and Southeast Asian markets were mixed.

BOUNCING BACK: Wynn Macau, the China arm of U.S. casino company Wynn Resorts, jumped nearly 7 percent in Hong Kong after the company announced that two executives are replacing Steve Wynn as chairman and CEO. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that a number of women had accused Wynn of sexual harassment or assault, and said Wynn paid $7.5 million to settle one such case. Wynn has denied the accusations but said he was stepping down because they prevented him from filling his corporate positions effectively.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 46 cents to $61.33 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped $1.60 on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard for oil prices, dropped 54 cents to $64.97 per barrel in London. It sank $1.35 in the previous session.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 109.63 yen from 109.36 yen. The euro fell to $1.2246 from $1.2261.


Kelvin Chan in Hong Kong contributed to this report.

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