World shares mostly lower after mixed day on Wall Street

BANGKOK (AP) – World shares were mostly lower yesterday after a mixed session on Wall Street, where losses by technology and industrial companies offset other gains.

Benchmarks fell in Tokyo and Hong Kong but were flat in Paris and London. Shanghai advanced after reopening following the Lunar New Year holiday.

Optimism that rollouts of coronavirus vaccines will set the stage for stronger economic growth in the second half of this year has been pushing shares higher. But expectations of a post-pandemic recovery also have resurrected concerns over inflation that could prompt governments and central banks to pull back on stimulus.

Germany’s DAX rose 0.2 per cent to 13,934.02 and the CAC40 in Paris was virtually unchanged at 5,765.36. Britain’s FTSE was also almost unchanged, at 6,712.47. US futures fell, with the contract for the S&P 500 down 0.3 per cent and that for the Dow industrials 0.1 per cent lower.

In Asian trading, the Shanghai Composite index gained 0.6 per cent to 3,675.36 and the S&P/ASX 200 was flat, at 6,885.90. Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.2 per cent to 30,236.09, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 1.6 per cent to 30,595.27. In South Korea, the Kospi gave up 1.5 per cent to 3,086.66.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 slipped less than 0.1 per cent, to 3,931.33 after handing back an early gain. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite dropped 0.6 per cent to 13,965.49.