Stock market today: World shares are mostly higher ahead of a US report on inflation

BEIJING (AP) — Stocks rose mostly in Europe and Asia on Tuesday ahead of a report on U.S. inflation that could influence the Federal Reserve's timing to cut interest rates.

In early European trading, Germany's DAX rose 0.2% to 17,789.05 and Paris' CAC 40 rose 0.1% to 8,025.97.

Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.8% to 7,728.21. The S&P 500 future gained 0.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average future was almost unchanged.

In Asian trading, Japan's Nikkei 225 lost less than 0.1% to 38,797.51, moving further away from its recent all-time highs as expectations grow that the central bank will raise its negative benchmark interest rate on next month.

That speculation has pushed up the Japanese yen against the U.S. dollar. Early Tuesday, the dollar was trading at 147.35 yen, down from 146.95 yen. Recently the dollar was trading at about 150 yen.

Chinese markets were mixed, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng rising 3.1% to 17,093.50, led by property developers and technology companies.

Shares in financially troubled developer Country Garden rose 5.2%. China Evergrande, which is struggling to pay off debts amounting to more than $300 billion, jumped nearly 28%, and Sunac China Holding added 8.3%.

Online food delivery company Meituan rose 4.7% and e-commerce company JD.com jumped 7.9%.

The Shanghai Composite Index retreated, losing 0.4% to 3,055.94.

Elsewhere in Asia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.1% to 7,712.50. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.8% to 2,681.81.

On Monday, the S&P 500 fell 0.1%, but remained near its all-time high set on Thursday.

Prices have been buoyed by expectations that interest rate cuts will come this year and by signs that the economy remains remarkably resilient.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.4%.

Tuesday's report on the prices Americans pay could show inflation held at 3.1% in February, if economists' forecasts are correct.

A month ago, a stronger-than-expected report on consumer inflation sent financial markets spinning.

But inflation has trended mostly downward, cooling toward the Federal Reserve's 2% target from its peak above 9%. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said last week that the Fed is “not far away” from having enough confidence about inflation to begin cutting rates. Cuts to the Federal Reserve's main interest rate, which is at its highest level since 2001, would ease pressure on the economy and financial system, while boosting investment prices.

The general expectation among traders is that the Federal Reserve will begin cutting rates in June.

Expectations of lower interest rates have helped the gold price hit a record high. When bonds pay less interest, investors lose less income by owning gold. Gold for April delivery rose $3.10 to settle at $2,188.60 an ounce. Gold prices have risen about 17% in the last 12 months.

Bitcoin, sometimes billed as “digital gold” by its proponents, also rallied to another record high. It was trading at around $72,000 after being below $17,000 early last year. It has more than recovered from its previous high of nearly $69,000.

Reddit said it could raise up to $748 million by selling shares to investors on an exchange for the first time. The social media company expects its shares to trade under the symbol "RDDT."

In other trading early Tuesday, benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 50 cents to $78.43 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 8 cents to $77.93 a barrel on Monday.

Brent crude, the international standard, added 56 cents to $82.77 a barrel.

The euro fell to $1.0925 from $1.0927.

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