World Stocks Slip Lower Friday

HONG KONG (AP) -- World stock markets slipped Friday, as investors paused to assess global conditions and locked in gains this week fueled by U.S. and Japanese central bank policy decisions to keep rates low for the time being.

KEEPING SCORE: A day after posting strong gains, European indexes lost ground in early trading. France's CAC 40 shed 0.7 percent to 4,479.85 and Germany's DAX lost 0.3 percent to 10,647.05. Britain's FTSE 100 slipped 0.3 percent to 6,892.35. U.S. stocks were poised to open lower. Dow futures dipped 0.2 percent to 18,271.00 and broader S&P 500 futures fell 0.2 percent to 2,164.20.

GLOBAL OUTLOOK: Markets rallied earlier this week after the Fed and the Bank of Japan both decided to keep key interest rates at the ultralow levels that have fueled a multi-year stock market boom. U.S. policymakers said the case for a rate hike has strengthened but held off for now, adding to speculation that it won't make a move until December. Investors are now looking ahead to the release next week of a raft of economic data, such as monthly U.S. consumer confidence and durable goods orders and Chinese factory activity, for the latest insights on the world economy's health.

QUOTEWORTHY: "Global monetary policy is set to remain easy for some time yet," Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital in Sydney, said in a report. "Which means the broad environment (i.e. beyond short term event risks) remains positive for shares and growth assets."

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.3 percent to end at 16,754.02 while South Korea's Kospi crept up 0.2 percent to 2,054.07. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.3 percent to 23,686.49 and the Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China dipped 0.3 percent to 3,033.90. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.1 percent to 5,431.30.

ENERGY: U.S. benchmark crude oil futures lost 71 cents to $45.61 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 98 cents to settle at $46.32 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 55 cents to $47.76 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar climbed to 100.93 yen from 100.84 yen in late trading Thursday. The euro slipped to $1.1199 from $1.1209.

(KA)