Global stocks mixed after Wall Street rebound

BEIJING (AP) — Global stock markets were mixed yesterday following Wall Street’s rebound as investors looked ahead to a speech by the United States (US) Federal Reserve chairman for clues about possible interest rate cuts.

Investor reaction was muted following Wednesday’s release of notes from the latest Fed meeting showing conflicting opinions about rates.

Benchmarks in London and Frankfurt declined in early trading. Hong Kong closed down while Shanghai and Tokyo advanced.

Investors are looking to Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech today for guidance about whether the Fed might cut rates at its next meeting in September. The Fed cut its key policy rate on July 31 for the first time in more than a decade, citing US President Donald Trump’s tariff battle with Beijing and other possible threats to economic growth.

Markets have a “high degree of policy uncertainty” ahead of Powell’s speech and US-China trade talks in September, said Stephen Innes of Oanda in a report.

Mixed views rates among Fed leaders are “well documented,” but the notes are a “reminder of how challenging it could be for Chair Powell to meet the market’s exceedingly dovish expectations,” said Innes.

In early trading, London FTSE 100 lost 0.4 per cent to 7173.92 and Frankfurt’s DAX shed three points to 11799.69. France’s CAC-40 dropped 0.2 per cent to 5424.47.

On Wall Street, futures for the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Average both lost 0.1 per cent.

Two screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) (L) and the foreign exchange rate between US dollar and South Korean won are seen at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea yesterday. Asian stock markets were mixed yesterday following Wall Street’s rebound as investors looked ahead to a speech by the US Federal Reserve chairman for clues about possible interest rate cuts. – PHOTO: AP

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.1 per cent to 2,883.44 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.9 per cent to 26,046.47.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was 0.1 per cent higher at 20,612.17. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.3 per cent to 6,501.08 and India’s Sensex shed 0.5 per cent to 36868.14. Seoul’s Kospi declined 0.7 per cent to 1,951.01. New Zealand and Taiwan were up while Southeast Asian markets declined.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 rose 0.8 per cent. The Dow and the Nasdaq composite added 0.9 per cent.

Traders see strong quarterly results from retailers as a sign of health among consumers who account for 70 per cent of US economic growth.

Technology companies accounted for a big share of the gains. Financial stocks rose as bond prices fell, pushing yields higher. Real estate and materials stocks lagged the rest of the market.

The Trump administration has imposed a 25 per cent tariff on USD250 billion in Chinese imports.

A pending 10 per cent tariff on another USD300 billion in goods would hit everything from toys to clothing and shoes that China ships to the US.

But 60 per cent of the new tariffs wouldn’t go into effect until mid-December, and others were taken off the table altogether.

ENERGY

Benchmark US crude gained 23 cents to USD55.91 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 45 cents on Wednesday to close at USD55.68. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 18 cents to USD60.48 in London. It gained 27 cents the previous session to $60.30.

CURRENCY

The dollar dropped to JPY106.44 from Wednesday’s JPY106.62. The euro declined to USD1.1108 from USD1.1086.