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Stock market today: European stocks up, Asian shares mostly lower on weaker China factory data

Currency traders watch monitors near the screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), left, and the foreign exchange rate between U.S. dollar and South Korean won at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares opened mixed today in Europe as markets were recovering from losses following recent election upsets across the region.

In France, where wins by far-right parties have raised pressure on President Emmanuel Macron, the CAC 40 rose 0.2% to 7,516.49.

Germany’s DAX edged 0.1% higher, to 18,049.00 and the FTSE 100 in London slipped 0.1% to 8,141.68.

Last week, France’s CAC 40 lost 6.2%, its worst decline in more than two years. Germany’s DAX lost 1.4%.

European Union leaders were gathering for a dinner summit to take stock of the European election results and weigh nominees for the bloc’s top jobs.

The June 6-9 polls saw the European Parliament shift to the right. Voters dealt major blows to governing parties in heavyweight countries France and Germany, and investors worry that could weaken the European Union, stall fiscal plans and ultimately hurt France’s ability to pay its debt.

Recent elections have also shaken markets in Mexico, India and elsewhere.

In Asian trading, shares mostly fell after China kept a key lending rate unchanged and reported its factory output slowed in May, with the property market still deep in the doldrums.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index lost 1.8% to 38,102.44 and in Seoul, the Kospi declined 0.5% to 2,744.10. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gave up 0.3% to 7,700.30.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended flat at 17,936.12, while the Shanghai Composite index shed 0.6% to 3,015.89.

Factory output fell 5.6% in China in May, the government reported, below analysts’ forecasts and slowing from 6.7% the month before. Retail sales rose just 4.1% in the first five months of the year.

Overshadowing those lackluster numbers, property investments fell 10% in May from a year earlier, while home prices in major cities fell 3.2%.

Property sales plunged 30.5% year-on-year, in further evidence that a raft of measures to try to turn around a slump in the property sector have yet to take hold.

Most markets in Southeast Asia were closed for holidays, while Thailand’s SET lost 1.8% ahead of several key court decisions expected Tuesday in cases against the ruling party or its allies.

Earlier today, the future for the S&P 500 was down 0.1% while that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.2%.

On Friday, U.S. stocks hung around their record levels, with the S&P 500 and Dow down 0.1%. The Nasdaq composite added 0.1% to its record set a day before on the back of gains for technology stocks, closing at 17,688.88.

U.S. stocks have set records as hopes rise that inflation is slowing enough to convince the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates later this year. Big technology stocks, meanwhile, continue to race ahead almost regardless of what the economy and interest rates are doing.

In other dealings today, U.S. benchmark crude oil lost 8 cents to $77.97 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, the international standard, fell 6 cents to $82.56 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar rose to 157.68 Japanese yen from 157.39 yen. The euro climbed to $1.0713 from $1.0705.

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