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World shares mixed after latest Wall Street retreat

Shares gained on Monday in Europe after retreating in Asia, where they tracked Wall Street's latest decline. Last week, US shares suffered their worst setback since early December.

World shares mixed after latest Wall Street retreat
Representative image

BANGKOK: Shares gained on Monday in Europe after retreating in Asia, where they tracked Wall Street's latest decline. Last week, US shares suffered their worst setback since early December.

Reports on inflation, the jobs market and retail spending have come in hotter than expected, leading analysts to raise forecasts for how high the Federal Reserve will have to take interest rates to slow the US economy and cool inflation.

Higher rates pressure business activity and investment prices. So far, they do not seem to be slowing growth as much as anticipated. The S and P 500 fell 1.1 per cent on Friday to cap its third straight loss.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1per cent and the Nasdaq composite lost 1.7 per cent. “It is becoming increasingly apparent that inflation, and associated inflation expectations and wage pressures, will not decline in a predictable linear manner,'' Mizuho Bank said in a commentary.

Geopolitical tensions also were weighing on sentiment, it said, after the US and other western countries imposed new sanctions on Russia for its war on Ukraine.

In Monday trading, Germany's DAX rose 1.2 per cent to 15,401.15 while the CAC 40 in Paris added 1.3 per cent to 7,281.00. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.9 per cent to 7,945.59.

The future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.3per cent and that for the S and P 500 gained 0.4 per cent. In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index edged 0.1 per cent lower to 27,423.96 and the Kospi in Seoul gave up 0.9per cent to 2,402.64.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng lost 0.3 per cent to 19,943.51 while the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.3 per cent at 3,258.03. Australia's S and P/ASX 200 shed 1.1 per cent to 7,224.80.

Bangkok was 0.2 per cent lower while the Sensex in Mumbai dropped 0.6 per cent. The measure of inflation preferred by the Fed, reported on Friday, said prices were 4.7 per cent higher in January than a year earlier, after ignoring costs for food and energy because they can swing more quickly than others.

That was an acceleration from December's inflation rate and was higher than economists' expectations for 4.3 per cent. It echoed other reports earlier in the month that showed inflation at both the consumer and wholesale levels was higher than expected in January.

Other data Friday showed that consumer spending, the biggest piece of the economy, returned to growth in January, rising 1.8 per cent from December.

A separate reading on sentiment among consumers came in slightly stronger than earlier thought, while sales of new homes improved a bit more than expected.

Such strength paired with the remarkably resilient job market raises the likelihood the economy might avoid a recession in the near term. But they also make it more likely that the Fed will keep interest rates higher for longer.

Tech and high-growth stocks have taken the brunt of selling pressure. Investments seen as the most expensive, riskiest or making their investors wait the longest for big growth are among the most vulnerable to higher rates.

Traders are increasing bets on the Fed raising its benchmark rate to at least 5.25 per cent and keeping it that high through the end of the year. It's currently in a range of 4.50per cent to 4.75 per cent, and it was at virtually zero a year ago.

Expectations for a firmer Fed have caused yields in the Treasury market to shoot higher this month, and they climbed further Friday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 3.96 per cent, up from 3.89 per cent late Thursday.

It helps set rates for mortgages and other important loans. The two-year yield, which moves more on expectations for the Fed, rose to 4.79 per cent from 4.71 per cent and is near its highest level since 2007. In other trading Monday, US benchmark crude oil rose 38 cents to USD76.70 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

It gained 93 cents to USD 76.32 per barrel on Friday. Brent crude oil, the pricing basis for international trading, shed 34 cents to USD 83.16 per barrel. The dollar fell to 136.35 Japanese yen from 136.45 yen. The euro rose to USD 1.0558 from USD 1.0549.

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