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Wall Street Leans Back Pre-Bell; Futures Red, Europe Mixed, Asia Uneven

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Wall Street is leaning back pre-market Monday, with US stock-index futures pointing to an opening bell off perhaps 0.20% from Thursday’s close. European bourses are trading higher but with London off, and Asian exchanges closed unevenly in holiday-thinned trading. Controversial Chinese tech-giant Huawei posted Q1 sales up nearly 40% year-over-year. The Trump Administration may end waivers for Japan, China and others from US sanctions on Iranian oil. A Tesla (TSLA) auto caught fire in Shanghai. Bitcoin trades for $5,310, oil trades for $65.33, and 10-year US Treasuries offer 2.56%

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On the economic calendar is the Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8:30 am ET, and then the existing home sales bulletin at 10 am.

Grainger (GWW), Hallibuton (HAL) and Kimberly-Clark (KMB) report earnings pre-bell, among others.

In the futures, the S&P 500 is off 0.24%, the Nasdaq is off 0.28%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is off 0.23%.

In Europe, the British FTSE 100 is off 0.15%, the French CAC 40 is up 0.31% and the German DAX is up 0.57%.

Asian stock markets turned in an uneven Monday, with Hong Kong and Sydney closed on holiday, while open markets lacked investment signals after the three-day weekend in Europe and the US. Shanghai fell back 1.70% on expectations for less government stimulus.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 opened slightly lower but edged forward in the afternoon session, finishing up 0.08% despite a lack of market signals. Traders are awaiting more direction from the unfolding earnings season, said analysts.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 17.34 to 22,217.90, although losing issues outnumbered gainers 109 to 107, making for a mixed day.

Leading the upside were homebuilder Daiwa House (DWAHY, 1925:Tokyo), up 6.8% on an earrings outlook, followed by retailer Family Mart UNY (FYRTY, 8028:Tokyo), up 5.7%, and then film-and-distribution house Toho (TKCOF, 9602:Tokyo), up 3.1%.

On the downside were diversified tech-outfit Screen Holdings (DNRIF, 7735:Tokyo), off 4.3%, and then financial-shop Credit Saison (CSASF, 8253:Tokyo), off 3.5%.

In economic news, Japan is among the nations that have been importing Iranian oil, but which may face US sanctions in the future, if Washington no longer grants Tokyo a waiver. The current waiver expires on May 2. Japanese importers have been making alternative arrangements, while Trump Administration officials said Saudi Arabia has made commitments to offset the the loss of supplies from Iran.

In other news, the government of the Chinese province Guangzhou plans to set up a $3 billion rescue fund for ailing listed private enterprises, reported news service Caixin. Guangzhou, home to 100 A-share listed companies, is the most recent local government to unveil plans for helping private companies.

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On the other exchanges, South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.02%; the Taiwan TWSE gained 0.18%; the Singapore Straits Times Index grew 0.30%; and the Thai Set fell 0.04%. In late trading in Mumbai, the Sensex was off 1.26%.

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