• Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

Stock market today: World shares are mixed in cautious trading following a weak close on Wall Street

BANGKOK (AP) — World shares were mixed on Wednesday in cautious trading after Wall Street’s rally ran out of momentum.

Benchmarks rose in Paris, Frankfurt and Tokyo but fell in London and Shanghai. U.S. futures were little changed and oil prices edged lower.

Trading was tapering off ahead of holidays in the U.S. and Japan on Thursday, with few data releases to drive activity.

But news that ChatGPT-maker OpenAI’s ousted CEO, Sam Altman, was going to return to the company could spur some fresh movement in technology shares. Microsoft, which has invested billions of dollars in OpenAI and has rights to its technology, quickly moved to hire Altman, though its CEO Satya Nadella said the company was open to having him return to OpenAI.

Altman said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that “with the new board and (with) Satya’s support, I’m looking forward to returning to OpenAI, and building on our strong partnership with (Microsoft).”

Meanwhile, Broadcom announced that it expected to complete its $69 billion deal to acquire VMWare on Wednesday after clearing all regulatory hurdles.

Wednesday will bring an update on U.S. durable goods orders and a consumer sentiment survey by the University of Michigan.

In European trading, Germany’s DAX gained 0.5% to 15,974.01 and the CAC 40 in Paris added 0.5% to 7,264.29. Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped less than 0.1%, to 7,479.91. The futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.1%.

In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 edged 0.3% higher to 33,451.83 and the Kospi in Seoul edged 0.1% higher, to 2,511.70.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed unchanged at 17,734.60, while the Shanghai Composite index sank 0.8% to 3,043.61.

Troubled property developer Sunac China Holding’s shares rose 4.2% as state media reported it had completed a restructuring of its $90 billion in debts. That followed reports that the government was urging lenders to provide financing on easier terms for developers that are operating normally.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.1% to 7,073.40. Shares fell in Taiwan and Thailand but rose in Mumbai.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 slipped 0.2% for just its third loss in the last 17 days. The Dow industrials dropped 0.2% and the Nasdaq composite dipped 0.6%.

Stocks have gained recently on rising hopes that inflation has cooled enough to make the Federal Reserve’s next move on interest rates a cut rather than a hike. The Fed’s main interest rate is at its highest level since 2001 as it tries to slow the economy and hurt investment prices just enough to smother inflation without causing a painful recession.

Deutsche Bank expects the U.S. economy to fall into a mild recession early in 2024 and the Fed to begin cutting rates in June. The rest of Wall Street is split on whether a recession could occur as the job market and inflation slow under the weight of high rates and yields.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 4.39% early Wednesday from 4.41% late Tuesday. Just a few weeks ago, it was above 5%, at its highest level since 2007 and undercutting prices for stocks and other investments.

In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil shed 56 cents to $77.21 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gave up 6 cents to $77.77 on Tuesday.

Brent crude, the international standard, lost 56 cents to $81.89 a barrel.

The U.S. dollar rose to 149.10 Japanese yen from 148.39 yen late Tuesday. The euro slipped to $1.0902 from $1.0912.

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