Global shares mixed, China markets closed for holidays

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares were mixed Wednesday after Wall Street indexes finished little changed as investors awaited earnings results from major global companies.

The U.S. government will release economic growth data for the fourth quarter on Thursday. Economists expect the economy expanded at an annual pace of less than 1%, down from 1.9% in the third quarter, following a contraction in the first half of 2022. Investors will get more updates on personal spending and income on Friday.

France’s CAC 40 fell 0.2% to 7,040.34. Germany’s DAX fell 0.2% to 15,064.94. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.1% to 7,762.45. The future for the S&P 500 was down 0.4% and that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.3%.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 slipped less than 0.1% and the Dow industrials rose 0.3%. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.3% while the Russell 2000 gave up 0.3%.

Australia reported higher than expected inflation figures on Wednesday, setting off expectations for another interest rate hike. Consumer inflation rose 8.4% in December, higher than the forecast of 7.6%. It anchored expectations for another 25 basis-point raise from the Reserve Bank of Australia in February, said Yeap Jun Rong, market analyst at IG .

“It’s not the end of the world, but it is a little worrying that Aussie inflation hasn’t yet started to trend lower. We believe it will in the next few months,” said Peter Esho, economist and co-founder at Wealthi.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained nearly 0.4% to finish at 27,395.01. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.3% to 7,468.30, while South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.4% to 2,428.57.

The Sensex in Mumbai lost 1.2% to 60,247.10. Major energy and mining conglomerate Adani group saw losses across its group companies after short-selling firm Hindenburg Research released a report including various allegations against the companies.

Flagship Adani Enterprises lost 1.5% while six other major Adani companies logged losses of up to 6%. The loss in market capitalization amounted to more than $7 billion, according to the newspaper Financial Times.

In a statement, the Adani group said it was “shocked” by the report.

“The report is a malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale, baseless and discredited allegations that have been tested and rejected by India’s highest courts,” said the statement by the group’s chief financial officer, Jugeshinder Singh.

Stocks have been volatile as investors try to get a better sense of how inflation is affecting the economy, the potential for a recession and whether the U.S. Federal Reserve can ease up on its aggressive interest rate increases.

The Fed will announce its next rate increase on Feb. 1 and traders expect a quarter-point raise, which would mark a softening of the central bank’s pace.

The U.S. government will release gross domestic product data for the fourth-quarter on Thursday. Economists expect growth of less than 1%, down from 1.9% in the third quarter, and a contraction during the first half of 2022. Investors will get more updates on personal spending and income on Friday.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude gained 18 cents to $80.31 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It settled 1.8% lower overnight. Brent crude, the international pricing standard, rose 38 cents to $86.51 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar edged up to 130.27 Japanese yen from 130.18 yen. The euro cost $1.0890, inching up from $1.0889.

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

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