World stocks mixed, Australia hits 6-year high


HONG KONG (AP) — World stock markets were mixed Tuesday, with Australia's benchmark briefly touching a six-year high while other markets lacked a clear focus as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of a number of economic reports later this week.

Australia's S&P ASX 200 rose to 5,554.50 early in the session, its highest since June 2008, before reversing course and finishing 0.9 percent lower at 5,486.60.

In early European trading, France's CAC 40 rose 0.4 percent to 4,480 while Germany's DAX rose 1.2 percent to 9,556. The FTSE 100 index of leading British companies was up 0.7 percent at 6,748.

U.S. stocks were poised to open higher, with Dow futures up 0.2 percent to 16,428.00 while broader S&P 500 futures climbed 0.2 percent to 1,870.00.

Trading was thin in Asia because markets were closed for a holiday in regional heavyweight Japan. Investors were also holding back ahead of some key economic events and data expected in the coming days.

Markets "are positioning in time for this week's high-risk events," said Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore. "Starting tomorrow we're going to see a so-called escalation of events starting from least important to most important."

On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve wraps up its two-day meeting, at which point policymakers, who are expected to further trim the central bank's bond-buying program, could provide further insight into the state of the world's biggest economy. Further U.S. data reports are in store with first quarter preliminary economic data on Thursday and payroll data on Friday. Also out Thursday is China manufacturing data for April, which will provide an update on conditions in the world's No. 2 economy.

South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.2 percent to close at 1,964.77 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up 1.4 percent to end at 22,453.89. The Shanghai Composite index in mainland China climbed 0.8 percent to 2,020.34. Benchmarks in Taiwan and New Zealand rose, while they fell in Singapore and Indonesia.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3867 from $1.3854 in late trading Monday. The dollar rose to 102.65 Japanese yen from 102.51.

In energy markets, benchmark crude for June delivery rose 39 cents to $101.02 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 24 cents to settle at $100.84 late Monday.