TOKYO (AP) – Global shares were mixed yesterday after stock indexes shuffled lower on Wall Street.
France’s CAC 40 edged up nearly 0.2 per cent in early trading to 7,167.47. Germany’s DAX gained 0.2 per cent to 16,275.17. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.2 per cent to 7,277.41. The future for the Dow industrials was trading 0.2 per cent higher, while the future for the S&P 500 added 0.3 per cent.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dipped 0.3 per cent to finish at 29,598.66, although it got a brief lift from a report by the major business daily Nikkei that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will propose today a government stimulus package totalling a record JPY55.7 trillion (USD488 billion). The rally quickly ran out of steam as more sobering concerns, such as the coronavirus pandemic, weighed in.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.1 per cent to 7,379.20, while South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.5 per cent to 2,947.38. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.3 per cent to 25,319.72. The Shanghai Composite shed 0.5 per cent to 3,520.71.
“Without a positive lead from Wall Street overnight and a relatively quiet day in terms of economic data, sentiments in the region may be on hold, potentially leading to some sideways movement,” market strategist at IG in Singapore Yeap Jun Rong said.
Recent government data have shown the coronavirus pandemic continues to hurt the Japanese economy. A supply crunch in chips and other parts needed to produce autos, a mainstay of the world’s third-largest economy, is one reason.
The damage to consumer spending brought on by recent government measures to close restaurants early and open theatres to limited crowds is another factor. Japan has never had a lockdown but has called periodically for a “state of emergency” to curb the spread of infections.
SMBC Nikko Securities Chief Economist Junichi Makino said the Japanese recovery that many initially expected to begin this year may not come until fiscal 2022, which begins in April.
“But extreme pessimism is not called for. Auto production will likely get back to normal by the October-December quarter,” he said.
Investors are also watching the Bank of Korea policy-setting meeting scheduled for next week for whether the central bank will raise its key rate. Policymakers have hinted at such a move.
United States (US) stocks have been powering mostly higher over the last month as companies reported much stronger profits for the summer than analysts expected.
Inflationary pressures – and how much they hit companies’ bottom lines – are under the microscope, with many companies warning their profit margins could suffer due to supply-chain problems and higher costs for everything from workers’ wages to raw materials.
In energy trading, benchmark US crude fell 74 cents to USD77.62 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It shed USD2.40 to USD78.36 per barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 48 cents to USD79.80 a barrel.
In currency trading, the recent stall in the dollar’s rally has put some Asian markets in a wait-and-see mood. The US dollar rose to JPY114.20 from JPY114.14.
The euro rose to USD1.1329 from USD1.1322.