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Global benchmarks mostly rise, markets await Fed rate moves

TOKYO (AP) – Global shares were mostly higher yesterday while Chinese benchmarks surged ahead of a decision by the United States (US) Federal Reserve on an interest rate increase to curb inflation.

France’s CAC 40 added 0.5 per cent in early trading to 6,360.80. Germany’s DAX edged up 0.2 per cent to 13,365.98. Britain’s FTSE rose 0.2 per cent to 7,199.25. The future for the Dow industrials edged 0.2 per cent higher, while the contract for the S&P 500 gained 0.3 per cent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 2.4 per cent to 15,827.17, while the Shanghai Composite index added 1.2 per cent to 3,003.37.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 was little changed, declining less than 0.1 per cent to finish at 27,663.39. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.1 per cent to 6,986.70. South Korea’s Kospi added nearly 0.1 per cent to 2,336.87.

South Korea’s export growth fell in October as demand from China fell. Consumer price inflation rose 5.7 per cent on year in October, in line with the market consensus.

A person walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan’s Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo. PHOTO: AP

“Sentiments in the Asia session could largely hold on to some wait-and-see as well, but eyes will remain on Chinese equities after their stellar performance yesterday,” Yeap Jun Rong, market strategist at IG in Singapore, said in a report.

The Fed began a two-day policy meeting yesterday that’s expected to yield its sixth interest rate increase of the year as the central bank fights the worst inflation in four decades. The widespread expectation is for the Fed to push through another increase that’s triple the usual size, or three-quarters of a percentage point.

The Labor Department reported that US job openings rose unexpectedly in September, suggesting the labour market is not cooling as fast as the Fed hoped for as it tries to slow economic growth while avoiding bringing on a recession.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 fell 0.4 per cent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2 per cent. The Nasdaq composite dropped 0.9 per cent, while the Russell 2000 rose 0.3 per cent.

In energy trading, benchmark US crude added 72 cents to USD89.09 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 58 cents to USD95.23 a barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar edged down to JPY147.25 from JPY148.23. The euro cost 98.95 cents, up from 98.78 cents.