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Global shares mixed as investors eye inflation, earnings

TOKYO (AP) – Global shares were mostly lower yestreday, as investors weighed oil prices, inflation worries and corporate earnings.

France’s CAC 40 fell 0.7 per cent in early trading to 6,050.25, while Germany’s DAX shed 0.2 per cent to 12,933.45. Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.3 per cent to 7,205.07. The future for the Dow industrials was up 0.2 per cent, while that for the S&P 500 gained 0.3 per cent.

In Asian trading, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 reversed early losses, adding 0.7 per cent to finish at 26,961.68. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.6 per cent to 6,649.60. South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.2 per cent to 2,370.97. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.9 per cent to 20,661.06, while the Shanghai Composite was little changed at 3,279.43.

“The news paints a deteriorating picture for the outlook of major companies amid global growth fears. Traders will be paying close attention to the ongoing earnings season for further signs of how companies are faring in a weakening economy,” trader at ActivTrades Anderson Alves said in a commentary.

Analysts said the Tokyo market was seeing some buying after a three-day weekend. Monday was a national holiday in Japan.

On Monday, the S&P 500 fell 0.8 per cent while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.7 per cent. The Nasdaq gave up 0.8 per cent and the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies dropped 0.3 per cent.

People walk past a bank’s electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index in Hong Kong. PHOTO: AP

Corporate profits are under threat given high inflation and slowdowns in parts of the economy, though analysts are still forecasting continued growth, and markets are likely to remain volatile through the upcoming earnings season. Johnson & Johnson, American Airlines and Tesla are among the dozens of S&P 500 companies scheduled to issue quarterly snapshots this week.

The United States (US) market has been lurching mostly lower for weeks on worries that the Federal Reserve and other central banks will slam the brake too hard on the economy in hopes of bringing down high inflation. If they’re too aggressive with their interest-rate hikes, they could cause a recession.

A key report released last week indicated expectations are easing for inflation among households. That could prevent a more vicious cycle from taking root and ease the pressure on the Federal Reserve.

Expectations have fallen for how aggressively the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at its meeting next week. Traders are now betting on a roughly one-in-three chance for a monster hike of a full percentage point, with the majority favouring a 0.75 percentage point increase. As recently as last Thursday, the heavy bet was on a hike of a full point.

Tomorrow, the European Central Bank is expected to raise interest rates for the first time in 11 years. Many investors expect an increase of 0.25 percentage points, “but more is not unthinkable”, economists wrote in a BofA Global Research report.

In energy trading, benchmark US crude fell USD0.14 to USD102.46 a barrel. It rose 5.1 per cent on Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, lost USD0.25 to USD106.02 a barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar edged down to JPY137.75 from JPY138.13. The euro cost USD1.0232, up from USD1.0146.

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