Global shares dip on economy worries

AP , Wednesday 26 Apr 2023

Global shares were mostly lower Wednesday as worries about the global economy flared after a tumble on Wall Street despite some better-than-expected earnings reports.

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A pedestrian passes by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange electronic screen in Hong Kong, Wednesday, April 26, 2023.AP

 

France's CAC 40 lost 0.6% in early trading to 7,489.17, while Germany's DAX declined 0.5% to 15,799.39. Britain's FTSE 100 dipped 0.3% to 7,869.14. But U.S. shares were set to drift higher with Dow futures up 0.1% at 7,869.14. S&P 500 futures rose 0.4% to 4,109.75.

Oil prices rose.

“From a banking crisis still hovering just beneath the surface to the realization Russia has long-range missiles that are incredibly accurate that no one has the capacity to stop, to the sharply higher China-U.S. tensions, more sanctions against both Russia and China, and the likely further unravelling of global trade and the reemergence of higher inflation, risks are huge,” Clifford Bennett, chief economist at ACY Securities, said in a commentary.

“None of this a pretty picture paints. Yet this is the reality of the current moment,” he said.

In Asian trading, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 shed 0.7% to finish at 28,416.47. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped nearly 0.1% to 7,316.30. South Korea's Kospi edged down 0.2% to 2,484.83. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.7% to 19,757.27, while the Shanghai Composite was little changed at 3,264.10.

Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co.'s shares fell 0.7% after the company announced plans to step up its shift to electric vehicles.

On Wall Street on Tuesday, the S&P 500 fell 1.6%, breaking out of a weekslong lull. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1%, while the Nasdaq composite sank 2% to 11,799.16.

Earnings reported in the U.S. have so far topped economists’ modest expectations.

Looking ahead, forecasts are for the worst drop in S&P 500 earnings since the spring of 2020, when the pandemic froze the global economy. So Wall Street is focused just as much, if not more, on what companies say about their future prospects as what they say about the past three months.

High interest rates meant to get inflation under control put the brakes on the entire economy, hurting investment prices. Big chunks of the economy, apart from employment, already have begun to slow or contract.

A report Tuesday showed that confidence among consumers fell more sharply in April than expected, down to its lowest level since July. That's a discouraging signal when consumer spending makes up the biggest part of the U.S. economy.

The Federal Reserve meets next week and may raise interest rates at least one more time before pausing.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude added 39 cents to $77.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 21 cents to $80.98 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar fell to 133.55 Japanese yen from 133.72 yen. The euro cost $1.1035, up from $1.0977.

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