TOKYO, May 2 (AP): Global shares were trading mixed on Tuesday with some markets closed or anticipating holidays and investors showing muted reaction to the latest US banking failure.
France’s CAC 40 lost 0.4 per cent in early trading to 7,459.14. Germany’s DAX fell nearly 0.4 per cent to 15,866.12.
Britain’s FTSE 100 inched down nearly 0.1 per cent to 7,864.44. US shares were set to drift lower with Dow futures slipping 0.2 per cent to 34,090.00. S and P 500 futures dipped 0.2 per cent to 4,179.50.
Australia’s S and P/ASX 200 dipped 0.9 per cent to 7,267.40, after the Reserve Bank of Australia raised interest rates by a quarter-percentage point, an unexpected move that signalled further tightening might be ahead.
“We think that the RBA has done more than enough and we have reached the peak in rates. Continuing to raise rates from here adds to the rising risk of plunging the economy into a recession,” said Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP in Sydney.
South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.9 per cent to 2,524.39. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.2 per cent to 19,933.81.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 edged up 0.1 per cent to close at 29,157.95. Trading in Tokyo will be closed for Golden Week holidays the rest of the week. Trading was closed in Shanghai for Labour Day.
Economic and inflation reports are expected in Europe ahead of the central bank meeting later in the week. Markets are also bracing for what is hoped to be the last interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve for some time. Oil prices fell, while currencies were little changed.
Recent China’s manufacturing data showed a contraction, reflecting how the weakening export market is starting to hurt the domestic economy, according to analysts.
“We believe that the government will resume subsidies on electric vehicles, which would benefit both the manufacturing and services sector. The government might also push infrastructure construction faster,” said Robert Carnell and other analysts at ING in their report.
First Republic has been feared as the next to topple following March’s failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. That fuelled a larger worry that runs on smaller and midsized banks could take down the economy, like the financial industry’s woes did in 2008.
Many other questions continue to hang over Wall Street that could shake things up. They include worries about corporate profits and the US government’s latest squabble over the country’s debt limit.
Above all is what the Federal Reserve will do with interest rates. At its next meeting, which concludes Wednesday, most traders expect the Fed to raise short-term rate by another quarter of a percentage point, up to a range of 5 to 5.25 per cent from virtually zero early last year.
The hope is that may be the final increase for a while, which would give the economy and financial markets more breathing room.
The Fed has been raising rates sharply in hopes of getting high inflation under control. But high rates are a notoriously blunt tool that slow the entire economy, raise the risk of a recession and hurt prices for investments.
If banks limit their lending following their industry’s recent struggles, even if there are no more failures, that could act like rate increases on their own. Many investors are preparing for a recession to hit later this year.
One lever that’s propped up Wall Street in recent weeks has been a stream of companies reporting better profits for the first three months of the year than expected.
In energy trading, benchmark US crude fell 25 cents to USD 75.41 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 17 cents to USD 79.14 a barrel.
In currency trading, the US dollar inched up to 137.46 Japanese yen from 137.47 yen. The euro stood at USD 1.0973, down slightly from USD 1.0978.