Stock market today: Global shares are mostly lower as investors pin hopes on rate cuts

Stock market today: Global shares are mostly lower as investors pin hopes on rate cuts


TOKYO – Global stocks were trading mixed on Monday, as investors awaited further signs that the Federal Reserve could begin cutting interest rates.

France's CAC 40 was virtually unchanged in early trading at 8,151.94, while Germany's DAX rose 0.1% to 18,227.53. Britain's FTSE 100 was little changed, inching down just under 0.1% to 7,929.84.

S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.1%.

Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 1.2% to finish at 40,414.12 as investors sold shares to lock in gains after the benchmark index recently hit record highs.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.2% to 16,473.64, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.7% to 3,026.31.

The Chinese currency, the yuan, was set at an exchange rate of 7.0996 against the US dollar. The official “central parity rate” is based on a weighted average of the prices offered by market makers before the interbank market opens each business day. It is allowed to go up or down only 2% each trading day.

The yuan had weakened to more than 7.2282 per dollar on Friday, falling to a four-month low, as the dollar gained against other currencies. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.5% to 7,811.90. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.4% to 2,737.57.

A top Japanese finance official expressed reservations about the recent rise of the US dollar against the Japanese yen, fueling speculation about possible market intervention. The dollar has risen to nearly 152 yen, a jump from slightly above 130 yen a year ago. On Monday it was trading at 151.32 yen, down from 151.41 yen. The euro cost $1.0823, down from $1.0810.

Last week, the Bank of Japan raised a key interest rate for the first time in 17 years, to just above zero from below zero, or negative interest rates. That means borrowing rates in Japan still remain below those of the United States and many other nations.

“The recent Bank of Japan meeting added another layer of complexity to the dollar's trajectory. Despite the BOJ's decision to raise rates, the cautious communication failed to stimulate demand for the Japanese yen,” said Luca Santos, currency analyst at ACY Securities.

On Friday, the S&P 500 fell 0.1% from a record high, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.8%. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.2%, setting another record.

The US Federal Reserve has indicated it could make three interest rate cuts this year, as long as inflation continues to cool. The Federal Reserve's main interest rate is at its highest level since 2001.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude added 45 cents to $81.08 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 48 cents to $85.91 a barrel.

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