Global shares mixed, tech stocks fall

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares were mixed yesterday after the passage of the USD1.9 billion United States (US) stimulus package passed the US Senate over the weekend, adding to hopes for a faster recovery from the pandemic.

France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.4 per cent to 5,804.67 in early trading, while Germany’s DAX added 0.5per cent to 13,995.18. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose nearly 0.3 per cent to 6,647.86. US shares were set for declines with Dow futures down 0.3 per cent at 31,386. S&P 500 futures fell 0.8 per cent to 3,808.62.

Heavy selling of shares in technology companies helped drag benchmarks lower in Japan and South Korea after early gains. The Shanghai Composite index dropped 2.3 per cent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 shed 0.4 per cent to 28,743.25.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.4 per cent higher to 6,739.60, while South Korea’s Kospi sank 1.0 per cent to 2,996.11. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.9 per cent to 28,540.83, while the Shanghai Composite fell to 3,421.41.

Chinese computer chip maker SMIC dropped 5.2 per cent; mobile phone maker Xiaomi lost nine per cent; Japanese technology and energy giant SoftBank shed 2.4 per cent and printer and copy machine maker Ricoh lost 6.3 per cent.

Beijing data released on Saturday showed China’s exports surged 60.6 per cent over a year earlier in the first two months of 2021, as factories reopened and global demand gradually recovered.

The huge increase reflects a rebound from the plunge in manufacturing and exports in early 2020 at the height of China’s coronavirus outbreaks.

The gradual vaccine rollout in most parts of the world is also boosting optimism, although it has hardly started in some Asian nations, including Japan.

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