Friday March 1st, 2024 8:58AM

Stock market today: World shares mostly higher ahead of US price update, OPEC+ meeting

By The Associated Press

BANGKOK (AP) — World shares were mostly higher Thursday ahead of an update on U.S. consumer inflation and a meeting of oil producers in Vienna.

U.S. futures rose and oil prices also advanced.

Germany's DAX edged 0.1% higher to 16,189.89 and the CAC 40 in Paris also gained 0.1% to 7,277.03. Britain's FTSE 100 picked up 0.3% to 7,448.08. The future for the S&P 500 rose 0.1% and that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4%.

Later Thursday, the U.S. government is due to release its October data on the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation. Economists expect that measure to continue easing, as it has been since the middle of 2022. The Federal Reserve is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate steady when it meets in December and to eventually begin paring rates down if inflation remains under control.

The prospect of a potential easing of interest rates has relaxed upward pressure on the U.S. dollar, allowing currencies like the Japanese yen to gain. That could relieve inflationary pressures that have cast the Bank of Japan's longstanding lax monetary policy into question.

In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 0.5% on Thursday to 33,486.89.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was up 0.2% at 17,030.49. The Shanghai Composite index added 0.3% to 3,029.67.

An official survey of Chinese factory managers showed manufacturing activity slowed in November, indicating further weakness in the world's second-largest economy despite recent signs of improvement.

“The latest surveys suggest that the economy continued to lose steam in November. However, they may be overstating the extent of slowdown due to sentiment effects,” Sheana Yue of Capital Economics said in a commentary.

South Korea's Kospi advanced 0.6% to 2,535.29. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.7% to 7,087.30. In Bangkok, the SET fell 0.7%. India's Sensex gained 0.2% and Taiwan's Taiex picked up 0.4%.

The members of OPEC+, whose oil income props up their economies, were trying to forge a consensus on production cuts after postponing a meeting originally set for Sunday.

U.S. benchmark crude oil climbed 68 cents to $78.54 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained $1.45 on Wednesday to $77.86 a barrel.

Brent crude, the international standard, added 74 cents to $83.61 a barrel.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 closed 0.1% lower and the Dow industrials gained just 0.1%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite fell 0.2% to 14,258.49.

The day brought encouraging news that the U.S. economy grew at a brisk 5.2% annual pace from July through September, an upgrade from the earlier estimate of 4.9%. Consumer spending, the lifeblood of the economy, rose at a 3.6% annual rate from July through September. That’s still healthy, but a downgrade from the previous estimate of 4%.

Treasury yields fell, taking more pressure off of stocks. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which influences mortgage rates, slipped to 4.29% from 4.33%. The yield on the 2-year Treasury fell sharply to 4.66% from 4.75%.

In currency dealings, the dollar rose to 147.49 Japanese yen from 147.24 yen. The euro fell to $1.0926 from $1.0971.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets
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