TOKYO (AP) – Global stocks traded mixed Wednesday as Asian nations were mired in uncertainty, while Japanese benchmarks rose on news of strong economic growth data. .
In Europe, France’s CAC40 fell nearly 0.1% to 7,399.51 in early trading, while Germany’s DAX rose 0.3% to 15,950.96. The UK FTSE 100 rose slightly, up less than 0.1% to 7,755.25. US stocks turned higher, with Dow futures up 0.3% to 33,150.00. S&P 500 futures rose 0.2% to 4132.00.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.8% to close at 30,093.59. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.5% to 7,199.20 after reports of better-than-expected wage gains. The wage price index rose 3.7% from the previous year. But some analysts say this could lead to rate hikes in the coming months.
South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.6 percent to 2,494.66. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 2.1% to 19,560.57 and the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2% to 3,284.23.
Japan’s encouraging GDP figures released today showed consumption rebounding after coronavirus-related restrictions were eased and borders were opened to tourists.
The world’s third-largest economy grew at an annual pace of 1.6% from March to the quarter, according to the Cabinet Office. It was the strongest pace of GDP growth since 1.1% growth in the April-June quarter of 2022. The main negative factor was the decline in exports due to weak global demand.
“Weak external demand remains a concern in the short term,” said Harumi Taguchi, chief economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, adding that growth could slow.
“Consumers will continue to be selective due to reduced purchasing power as real compensation for employees declines at a faster pace,” he said.
Concerns about the Chinese and US economies weighed on investor sentiment. Crude oil prices fell.
“Recent Chinese economic data show a slower-than-expected recovery and below-consensus expectations, adding to these concerns. There is growing concern that most of it is already in the rear-view mirror,” ActiveTrade’s Anderson Alves said.
In the U.S., major retailers such as Target and Walmart are due to report earnings later this week. The resilience of US household spending is one of the main positive factors that keep the economy from entering a recession, so they are put under the microscope.
If it collapses, a recession could be certain. The pressure is on as the measure of shopper confidence is declining. Manufacturing and other sectors of the economy are already cracking under the weight of massive interest rate hikes aimed at keeping inflation in check.
In energy trading, benchmark US crude fell 13 cents to $70.73 a barrel. International standard Brent crude fell 18 cents to $74.73 a barrel.
In foreign exchange trading, the dollar edged up from 136.36 yen to 137.00 yen. The euro fell to $1.0839 from $1.0868.
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