TOKYO — (AP) — Global shares were mostly lower Friday in muted trading, as investors kept an eye on inflation and awaited the outcome of a Communist Party congress in China.
France’s CAC dipped 1.6% in early trading to 5,988.78. Germany’s DAX lost 1.4% to 12,584.52.
Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 1% to 6,871.64 as the Conservative Party was preparing to replace Liz Truss as prime minister within a week after she resigned on Thursday after a turbulent 45-day term, conceding that she could not deliver on her tax-cutting economic plans.
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson is among several candidates expected to vie to take her place. Former Treasury chief Rishi Sunak and House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt are others.
On Wall Street, the future for the Dow industrials lost 0.5% while the S&P 500 future was down 0.7%.
China’s ruling party congress is expected to wrap up Saturday with an endorsement of leader Xi Jinping remaining in office indefinitely. The meeting, held every five years, sets the national agenda for the next five and can signal possible changes in policy direction. One change that looks unlikely is an end to severe “zero COVID” rules that appear set to continue disrupting life and business activity for months to come.
In other developments, Japan’s core consumer prices rose 3.0% in September from a year earlier, according to government data released Friday. That was the highest increase in eight years. It would also have been the highest in more than 30 years if the impact of introducing and raising the consumption tax was excluded.
The Bank of Japan has kept an ultra-low interest rate policy, while the Federal Reserve and other central banks have been raising rates to counter surging prices. Until recently, the Japanese central bank had devoted its efforts to fending off deflation, or the continued downward spiraling of prices.
In currency trading, the U.S. dollar rose to 150.93 Japanese yen from 150.15 yen, adding to pressure on the BOJ to tweak its monetary policy since a weaker yen amplified rising prices due to the higher costs for imports. The euro was little changed at 97.37 cents, inching down from 97.87 cents.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 declined 0.4% to finish at 26,890.58. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.8% to 6,676.80. South Korea’s Kospi edged down 0.2% to 2,213.12. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.4% to 16,211.12, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.1% to 3,038.93. Shares rose 0.1% in Mumbai.
“The overall mood remains cautious, with the paring of gains in Wall Street and yields trending higher on a more hawkish policy outlook,” Yeap Jun Rong, a market strategist at IG in Singapore, said in a report.
Investors remain concerned about inflation, since higher interest rates tend to discourage borrowing and investments, slowing economic activity. That could tip economies into recession. Corporate earnings remain a big focus.
The U.S. employment market remains strong, with the latest government data showing the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week and remains historically low.
The healthy jobs market is a sticking point since it suggests the Fed will have to persist in raising interest rates. The central bank has raised its key interest rate to a range of 3% to 3.25%. Just over six months ago, it was near zero.
In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude fell 81 cents to $83.70 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 77 cents to $91.61 a barrel.
Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama
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