WORLD

Stock market today: Global shares rise after Wall Street nears record; markets eye inflation report

Jan 11, 2024, 12:16 AM | Updated: 1:24 am

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares advanced Thursday on the back of Wall Street’s climb to a near-record high, as Tokyo’s benchmark finished at a 34-year high.

France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.6% in early trading to 7,469.16. Germany’s DAX added nearly 0.8% to 16,821.53. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.5% to 7,687.79.

The future for the S&P 500 gained 0.3% while that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.2%. On Wednesday, the S&P 500 rose 0.6%, just 0.3% below its all-time high. The Dow added 0.5%, and the Nasdaq composite climbed 0.8%.

Investors are watching for a U.S. inflation report due later Thursday that could show whether all the excitement that’s vaulted stocks higher recently is warranted.

Hope is growing that the Federal Reserve has cooled the economy just enough to tame inflation without causing a recession.

In Asian trading, Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index finished 1.8% higher at 35,049.86. That was the highest finish since February 1990, during Japan’s so-called “bubble years,” a time of vastly inflated real estate and stock prices.

The yen has weakened against the U.S. dollar, boosting prices of export-related shares. Thursday was the third straight day of such finishes and analysts were warning that investors might soon decide to sell to lock in their profits.

Toyota Motor Corp.’s stock rose 3.6%, while Honda Motor Co. added 2.3%. Sony Group Corp. rose 3.5% and Hitachi gained 4.2%.

A year ago, the dollar was trading at about 130 Japanese yen. The U.S. dollar slipped to 145.53 Japanese yen from 145.76 yen on Thursday. The euro fell to $1.0967 from $1.0972.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.3% to 16,302.04, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.3% to 2,886.65.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.5% to 7,506.00. South Korea’s Kospi slipped less than 2 points to 2,540.27.

Hopes are growing the Federal Reserve may cut interest rates sharply this year. Economists expect Thursday’s report to show prices paid by U.S. consumers were 3.2% higher in December than a year earlier, according to FactSet.

That would be a slight acceleration from November’s 3.1% inflation rate. But after ignoring the effects of food and fuel prices, which can quickly shift from month to month, economists believe underlying inflation trends likely continued to cool.

The Fed has hinted at possibly cutting interest rates three times this year. Many traders are anticipating double that number of rate cuts, but critics say that’s overly optimistic.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 89 cents to $72.25 a barrel early Thursday. It dropped 87 cents to $71.37 on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, picked up 93 cents to $77.73 a barrel.

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Yuri Kageyama is on X https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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