Global shares mixed as North Korean tensions simmer

TOKYO: Shares were mixed Tuesday in Europe and Asia as trading was overshadowed by North Korea's rumblings over the US decision to send an aircraft carrier group into waters near the Korean Peninsula.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX edged 0.1 percent lower to 12,186.93 and the CAC 40 of France was steady at 5,108.43. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.4 percent to 7,379.97. Wall Street looked set for a slow start, with S&P 500 futures down 0.1 percent at 2,350.20 and Dow futures also 0.1 percent lower, at 20,583.00.

KOREAS: North Korea said there could be "catastrophic consequences" after the US ordered the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its battle group to waters off the Korean Peninsula. Nerves were already on edge with US-South Korea war games underway, following recent ballistic missile launches by the North that have rattled neighboring countries.

ANALYST VIEWPOINT: "The markedly unusual move had been explained as a reaction towards North Korea's provocations and has fueled concerns that further tensions may emerge. Certainly with the hardening of the stance by the new US leader, the concern could very much be justified," Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.

TOSHIBA: Shares in Toshiba Corp. closed 2.7 percent lower before the company released unaudited results for April-December following two delays. The company, whose US nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric Co. has filed for bankruptcy protection, reported unaudited earnings Tuesday, projecting a loss of 1.01 trillion yen ($9.2 billion) for the fiscal year that ended in March.

It said it racked up a 532.5 billion yen ($4.8 billion) loss for the April-December 2016 period.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index slipped 0.3 percent to 18,747.87 as Toshiba and other big export manufacturers lost ground. Hong Kong's Hang Seng sank 0.7 percent to 24,088.46, while the Shanghai Composite index rebounded to close 0.6 percent higher at 3,288.97.

South Korea's Kospi fell 0.4 percent to 2,123.85 and Australia's S&P ASX 200 gained 0.3 percent to 5,929.30. Shares in Southeast Asia were mixed.

ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil fell 20 cents to $52.88 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It closed higher Monday for the fifth day in a row, adding 84 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $53.08 a barrel. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, lost 11 cents to $55.87 a barrel. It jumped 74 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $55.98 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 110.66 yen from 111.15 yen late Friday as investors shifted into the traditionally "safe haven" currency. The euro rose to $1.0608 from $1.0588.