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Global stocks follow Wall Street higher with China closed

BEIJING (AP) – Global stocks gained yesterday while China was closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

London and Frankfurt opened higher. Tokyo and Sydney gained. The future for Wall Street’s S&P 500 index was higher.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.5 per cent to 7,574.35. Frankfurt’s DAX gained one per cent to 15,619.39 and the CAC 40 in Paris added 1.4 per cent to 7,099.49.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 future was up 0.4 per cent. That for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off less than 0.1 per cent.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 gained 0.7 per cent, boosted by gains for energy and tech stocks in a late burst of buying. The Dow rose 0.8 per cent and the Nasdaq composite added 0.7 per cent.

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 1.8 per cent to 27,552.61 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 advanced 1.3 per cent to 7,094.80.

People walk by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo. PHOTO: AP

India’s Sensex advanced 0.9 per cent to 59,403.16. New Zealand’s benchmark gained 1.9 per cent after the government reported record-low unemployment of 3.2 per cent in the final quarter of 2021. Jakarta also advanced.

United States (US) stocks are coming off their worst month since early in the pandemic nearly two years ago.

Investors are trying to figure out how the economy and corporate profits will be affected by upcoming Federal Reserve rate hikes, intended to cool inflation that surged to a four-decade high.

The S&P 500 is within 5.2 per cent of its January 3 all-time high.

Fed officials said in mid-December that plans to wind down bond purchases and other stimulus that are boosting prices would be accelerated to cool inflation.

Consumers have kept spending despite price rises, but forecasters worry retail purchases might weaken, crimping economic growth.

Investors expect the Fed to hike rates at least four times this year, starting in March.

On Friday, the Labor Department reports US employment for January.

In energy markets, benchmark US crude gained 27 cents to USD88.47 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose five cents on Tuesday to USD88.20. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, added 30 cents to USD90.46 per barrel in London. It fell 10 cents the previous session to USD89.16.

The dollar edged up to JPY114.76 from Tuesday’s JPY114.71. The euro rose to USD1.1287 from USD1.1254.

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