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Global shares up; many Asian markets closed for holiday

TOKYO (AP) – Global shares rose yesterday, mirroring broad overnight gains on Wall Street, while many markets in China and elsewhere in Asia were closed for Lunar New Year holidays.

France’s CAC 40 jumped 1.2 per cent in early trading to 7,081.90, while Germany’s DAX surged 1.3 per cent to 15,669.47. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.9 per cent to 7,528.54. The future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up nearly 0.1 per cent. The S&P 500 future inched up less than 0.1 per cent.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 climbed 0.3 per cent to 27,078.48. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.5 per cent to 7,006.00.

Sony Corp stock finished 0.4 per cent higher after it announced its acquisition of Bungie Inc, an independent game publisher based in Bellevue, Washington. Sony Interactive Entertainment is spending USD3.6 billion to buy Bungie, the original developer of Xbox-owned Halo. The move escalates the game console competition between Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft Corp’s Xbox.

Wall Street closed a tumultuous January wracked by worries that interest-rate hikes will make everything in markets more challenging. Shares closed higher on Monday but still logged their worst monthly loss since the early days of the pandemic.

A man looks at an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo. PHOTO: AP

The S&P 500 came back from an early dip to close 1.9 per cent higher at 4,515.55. Even so, the benchmark index fell 5.3 per cent in January, its worst month since falling 12.5 per cent in March 2020, when it plunged after the pandemic suddenly shut down the global economy.

The Dow industrials gained 1.2 per cent to 35,131.86. The Nasdaq jumped 3.4 per cent to 14,239.88. Both also ended in the red for January, with the Dow shedding 3.3 per cent and the Nasdaq losing nine per cent.

The Federal Reserve is about to start withdrawing the tremendous stimulus it’s pumped into the economy and markets since the pandemic began in 2020. Ultra-low rates and other stimulus helped markets recover from the initial shock of the coronavirus pandemic, and then supported stunning gains.

Investors expect the United States (US) Federal Reserve will begin raising interest rates in March to fight inflation. But markets have gyrated amid uncertainty about how sharply and how quickly the Fed will move.

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