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World shares are mostly lower after mixed session on Wall Street

AP – Shares mostly fell in Europe and Asia yesterday after a mixed close on Wall Street, where wild recent moves calmed a bit at the beginning of a quiet week for data releases.

Germany’s DAX slipped 0.2 per cent to 15,110.26 and the CAC 40 in Paris also fell 0.2 per cent, to 7,002.53. Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 0.1 per cent to 7,410.08. The futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.3 per cent.

On Monday, office-sharing company WeWork confirmed it is seeking bankruptcy protection. Trading in its shares was halted on Monday amid speculation over its restructuring plans.

It’s a stunning decline for a one-time Wall Street darling that promised to upend the way people went to work around the world. The company’s shares cost more than USD400 two years ago but now cost less than USD1.

In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 declined 1.3 per cent to 32,271.82 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 1.7 per cent to 17,670.16 the Shanghai Composite index slipped less than 0.1 per cent to 3,057.27.

A currency trader at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. PHOTO: AP

China reported its imports rose three per cent in October from a year earlier, the first such increase in over a year, while exports fell 6.4 per cent, the sixth straight monthly decline. The trade surplus fell to USD56.5 billion.

A barrel of benchmark United States (US) crude gave up USD1.23 to USD79.59 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose USD0.31 to settle at USD80.82 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, gave up USD1.25 to USD83.93 a barrel. It rose 29 cents to USD85.18 per barrel on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.3 per cent to 6,977.10 after the central bank raised its key interest rate by 0.25 percentage points, to 4.35 per cent.

In Seoul, the Kospi dropped 2.3 per cent to 2,443.96. It gained 5.7 per cent on Monday after the government, seeking to shore up public support ahead of legislative elections in April, restored until the end of June a ban on short-selling to protect small investors from what regulators said was “massive illegal naked short-selling by global investment banks” and other illegal activities.

On Monday, US stocks drifted and the S&P 500 added 0.2 per cent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.1 per cent higher and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.3 per cent.

The flashpoint for the stock market’s movements in both directions has been what the bond market is doing. The 10-year US Treasury yield was at 4.63 per cent yesterday.

High bond yields hurt prices for stocks and other investments, slow the economy and raise pressure on the financial system.