World stocks shaky as jetliner downed over Ukraine

KAY JOHNSON
View photos
A man walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Friday, July 18, 2014. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225, the regional benchmark, tumbled 1.1 percent lower at 15,202.55. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

MUMBAI, India (AP) — Global stock markets fell Friday, unnerved by a ratcheting up of global political tensions after a Malaysian jetliner was shot down over Ukraine.

Oil, meanwhile, has risen more than 2 percent in 24 hours following the announcement of fresh U.S. sanctions against Russia for what Washington says is its support of separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Germany's DAX slipped 0.6 percent to 9,700.53 and Britain's FTSE 100 was off 0.7 percent at 6,738.32. France's CAC-40 was 0.1 percent lower at 4,311.14.

Futures pointed to modest gains on Wall Street. Dow Jones futures were up 0.1 percent to 16,958 and S&P 500 futures rose 0.2 percent to 1,958.

Ukraine accused pro-Russian separatists of shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 with 298 people aboard, sharply escalating the crisis in the region and threatening to draw both East and West deeper into the conflict. The rebels denied downing the aircraft.

"While initial trader reaction has been to sell first and ask questions later, the more considered approach will involve waiting for further insight into the likelihood of this tragic event triggering an escalation of the situation in Ukraine," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC.

It was the second disaster involving the Malaysian flag carrier this year. On March 8, a Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, spawning an international mystery that remains unsolved.

In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225, the regional benchmark, tumbled 1 percent to 15,215.71 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.3 percent to 23,454.79. South Korea's Kospi was down 0.1 percent at 2,019.42.

Stocks in Taiwan also were lower, as were most markets in Southeast Asia. China's Shanghai Composite inched up 0.2 percent to 2,059.07 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2 percent to 5,531.70.

Malaysia's benchmark stock index fell 0.4 percent to 1,876.21. Shares of Malaysia Airlines plummeted 11 percent.

Oil prices continued to shoot up Friday over fears that new U.S. sanctions on Russia might affect supplies.

Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery was up 40 cents to $103.59 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.99 the day before to close at $103.19.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3523 from $1.3516 late Thursday. The dollar rose to 101.35 yen from 101.21 yen.