TOKYO (AP) — Global stocks rose modestly on Wednesday as investors looked ahead to a press conference by President-elect Donald Trump for details on trade and clarifications about Russia's role in the election.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX was up 0.3 percent at 11,618 while France's CAC 40 gained 0.1 percent to 4,894. Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent to 7,283. U.S. shares were also set to drift higher, with Dow and S&P futures both up 0.1 percent.
TRUMP FACTOR: Investors are awaiting Trump's first news conference in nearly six months, as questions fly over Russia's role in the election year hacking of Democratic groups. Investors are awaiting news on Trump's plan to disengage from his businesses and on his policy positions on international trade.
THE QUOTE: "Trading is likely to remain cautious ahead of press conferences with Fed members on Thursday, and Trump tonight. There is little in the way of data to drive sentiment prior to these events," Alex Furber, a sales trader at CMC Markets, said in a commentary.
SAMSUNG: Samsung's strong earnings forecast helped drive gains on the South Korean stock market, where the Kospi added 1.5 percent to 2,075.17, its highest close in over a year. Samsung Electronics, the country's biggest company, finished at a fresh record high of 1,914,000 won, up 2.8 percent, lifted by expectations of strong earnings by its computer chip business.
VW SCANDAL: Shares in Volkswagen were up almost 4 percent after the company said it is in advanced talks to settle a criminal case over its emissions scandal by pleading guilty to unspecified charges and paying $4.3 billion in criminal and civil fines. While the sum is far larger than any recent case involving the auto industry, a settlement would help end uncertainty and the company is strong enough financially to be able to handle it.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.3 percent to close at 19,364.67. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2 percent to 5,771.50. South Korea's Kospi was up 1.5 percent at 2,075.17. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.8 percent to 22,935.35, but the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.8 percent to 3,136.75. Shares in Southeast Asia were mostly higher.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 25 cents to $51.07 a barrel in electronic trading, having lost $1.14 the day before. Brent crude, which is used to price oil sold internationally, added 24 cents to $53.88.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 116.24 yen from 115.65 yen the day before. The euro fell to $1.0507 from $1.0607. The pound continued to weaken amid concern that Britain might break off completely from the European Union's single market. The currency was at $1.2119, from $1.2177 the day before.
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