Stock Market Today: World Markets Mostly Higher; Turkey, Thailand Slip After Elections

(AP) -- World shares were mostly higher Monday after a weak start in Asia, while benchmarks fell in Turkey and Thailand following weekend election upsets for their ruling parties.

Oil prices recovered from initial losses and U.S. futures were higher.

The Borsa Istanbul 100 index was down 4.2% after dropping as much as 6% early Monday.

Turkey's presidential elections appeared to be heading toward a second-round runoff. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has ruled the country with a firm grip for 20 years, was leading over his chief challenger, but falling short of the votes needed for an outright win.

Shares in Thailand fell 0.9% after the country's main opposition parties easily bested other contenders in an election result that fulfilled many voters' hopes in a chance for change after nine years under a former coup-leading general.

Elsewhere, Germany's DAX added 0.2% to 15,945.24 and the CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.5% to 7,451.20. Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.3% at 7,775.47.

On Wall Street, the future for the S&P 500 rose 0.4% and that for the Dow industrials was 0.3% higher. On Friday, the S&P 500 lost 0.2% while the Dow ended barely lower. The Nasdaq gave up 0.4%.

This week will bring major updates on the Japanese and Chinese economies. The latter has been showing signs of slowing after an initial recovery from disruptions caused by the pandemic.

"The sharp moderation in China's economic surprise index since the start of the month suggests that economic data are turning in less optimistic than before, which puts some doubts on markets' reopening bets," Yeap Jun Rong, a market analyst at IG, said in a commentary.

A preliminary survey released Friday said consumer confidence in the economy is faltering as worries persist over the risk of a recession and a possible default on the U.S. government's debt. But hopes for a resolution to a standoff over raising the debt ceiling appeared to be rising.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 0.8% to 29,626.34. The index has been trading near its highest level since the early 1990s, with buying spurred by strong corporate earnings reports and signs that inflationary pressures might be easing.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index surged 1.8% to 19,971.13 while the Shanghai Composite index bounced back from early losses, gaining 1.2% to 3,310.74. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.1% higher to 7,267.10, while the Kospi in South Korea picked up 0.2% to 2,479.35.

Over the weekend, finance ministers of the Group of Seven advanced economies wrapped up a meeting in Japan with a call for vigilance given many uncertainties for the global economy.

However, they also said financial systems have shown resilience despite recent failures of several banks in the U.S. and Europe. No mention was made of the urgency of resolving a standoff between U.S. President Joe Biden and Republican lawmakers over raising the debt ceiling to enable the Treasury to pay its bills.

Markets remain prey to worries about recession, high inflation and the U.S. government inching toward what could be a catastrophic default on its debt.

President Joe Biden and congressional leaders postponed a meeting set for Friday on the debt limit crisis to next week, but the delay was billed as a sign of progress and staff-level talks continued through the weekend.

The Federal Reserve has been hiking interest rates to drive down inflation. Recent reports suggest price increases are moderating though inflation is remains too high for the comfort of households and regulators.

The hope on Wall Street is that easing inflation may convince the Fed to hold off on raising rates again at its next meeting in June. That would offer some breathing room to both the economy, which has slowed under the weight of higher rates, and to financial markets, where prices began falling long ago.

In other trading Monday, U.S. benchmark crude oil advanced 15 cents to $70.19 per barrel. It lost 83 cents on Friday to $70.04 per barrel.

Brent crude, the pricing basis for international trading, gained 10 cents to $74.27 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar rose to 136.02 Japanese yen from 135.69 yen on Friday. The euro was trading at $1.0879, up from $1.0854.