February 25, 2024
TOKYO (AP) — Global shares were mixed on Wednesday despite a rally on Wall Street driven by optimism over reports suggesting the American economy is in better shape than feared. France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.7% in early trading to 7,263.87, while Germany’s DAX rose 0.7% to 15,953.77. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.4% to 7,491.90. The […]

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares were mixed on Wednesday despite a rally on Wall Street driven by optimism over reports suggesting the American economy is in better shape than feared.
France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.7% in early trading to 7,263.87, while Germany’s DAX rose 0.7% to 15,953.77. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.4% to 7,491.90. The future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was nearly unchanged while that for the S&P 500 was down 0.2%. Oil prices advanced.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 2.0% to finish at 33,193.99. A weakening Japanese yen helped lift exporter shares like autos. Toyota Motor Corp. surged 2.8%, while video-game maker Nintendo Co. edged up 2.0%. A cheap yen raises the value of overseas earnings when converted into yen.
A dollar bought 144.00 yen, nearly unchanged. The euro slipped to $1.0951 from $1.0963.
The recent rise of the dollar against the yen is raising speculation about how that could affect Japanese monetary policy and what it could mean for the economy at a time when inflationary pressures have picked up after years of deflation.
The euro cost $1.0954, down from $1.0959.
Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.1% to 7,196.50 after the government reported that the consumer price index rose 5.6% in the twelve months to May. The most significant price rises included housing and food. The Reserve Bank of Australia made a surprise move of raising interest rate earlier this month to counter persisted price pressures.
South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.7% to 2,564.19. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng recouped earlier losses, inching up 0.1% to 19,172.05, while the Shanghai Composite was little changed, falling less than 0.1% to 3,189.38.
“Following some early week jitters, we’ve now seen a return to business-as-usual in global equities. Markets are taking some comfort from U.S. economic indicators which are showing no signs of an imminent ‘hard landing’ with regard to growth,” Tim Waterer, chief market analyst at KCM Trade, said in a report.
Wall Street advanced on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 gaining 1.1% and resuming an upward climb that had carried it earlier this month to its highest level in more than a year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6%, while the Nasdaq composite gained 1.6%.
Reports on the U.S. economy Tuesday were largely stronger than expected. A reading on consumer confidence jumped to its highest level since the start of 2022, and orders for long-lasting manufactured goods unexpectedly grew, beating economists’ forecasts for a pullback.
Sales of new homes in May also topped economists’ expectations, which sent stocks of homebuilders climbing. Such data will feed into decisions by the Federal Reserve and other central banks about whether to keep cranking interest rates higher. High rates can undercut inflation, but they also can slow the entire economy, raising the risk of a recession.
Global central banks appear to think that inflation is declining slowly. Hope on Wall Street is that a hike next month could be the final one for the Fed, even if it has suggested recently that it could raise rates twice more this year.
In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude lost 51 cents to $67.19 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 49 cents to $71.77 a barrel.
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Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama