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Global stocks mixed after strong US factory data prompt Wall Street retreat

HONG KONG (AP) – Global stocks were mixed yesterday after Wall Street retreated as surprisingly strong United States (US) manufacturing data cast doubts over how soon the Federal Reserve (Fed) might cut interest rates.

European markets opened mostly higher, but Germany’s DAX then slipped, losing 0.1 per cent to 18,525.79. In Paris, the CAC 40 was flat at 8,206.00. In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.3 per cent at 7,976.39.

The future for the S&P 500 was less than 0.1 per cent lower and that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.3 per cent.

In Asian trading, Hong Kong gained 2.4 per cent to 16,931.52. The Shanghai Composite index edged 0.1 per cent lower to 3,074.96.

China real estate developer Vanke’s Hong Kong-listed shares slumped 12.9 per cent after it reported last week that its 2023 core profit sank 50.6 per cent from a year earlier. In a rare case of intervention, in March state banks were tapped to provide financial support for Vanke.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.1 per cent higher at 39,838.91.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.2 per cent to 2,753.16, after data showed the country’s consumer prices rose 3.1 per cent in March compared to the same period last year, matching the previous month’s pace.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia gave up 0.1 per cent to 7,887.90 after the country’s manufacturing sector index contracted to 47.3 in March from 47.8 in February, which is at the fastest pace since May 2020.

On Monday, the S&P 500 dipped 0.2 per cent from its all-time high to finish at 5,243.77.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.6 per cent, from its record to 39,566.85. The Nasdaq composite was an outlier and added 0.1 per cent to 16,396.83.

Treasury yields spurted higher after a report said US manufacturing unexpectedly returned to growth last month. It snapped a 16-month run of contraction, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

A person looks at an electronic stock board showing Japan’s stock prices at a securities firm in Tokyo, Japan. PHOTO: AP