Global stocks are mixed as investors eye the China virus crisis

TOKYO (AP) — Global stocks were mixed Friday as concerns about the regional economy deepened and Japan reported higher-than-expected inflation.

France’s CAC 40 was little changed, falling less than 0.1% to 6,704.00. Germany’s DAX fell 0.1% to 14,524.48. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.1% to 7,473.46. The S&P 500 future gained 0.2%, while the Dow Industrial future rose 0.1%.

Investors have their eyes on China’s lockdowns and restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus infections, as the direction China takes will have a major impact on the rest of Asia.

China has been expanding pandemic lockdowns, including in a city where workers at the factory that makes Apple’s iPhone clashed with police this week, as the number of COVID-19 cases hits a daily record.

Across China, the number of new cases reported on Thursday was 31,444, the highest since the virus was first detected in late 2019.

“Reopening policies have rotated in China, which will be a gradual process. COVID control measures will vary between cities, but positive top-down approaches will continue,” said Stephen Innes, Stephen Innes, Managing Partner at SPI Asset Management.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.4% to end at 28,283.03. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.2% to 7,259.50. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.1% to 2,437.86. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.5% to 17,573.58. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.4% to 3,101.69.

Inflation data in Tokyo for November beat analysts’ expectations, with the core consumer price index showing a 3.6% rise, the highest in more than four decades.

The Federal Reserve and the other central banks of the world have been raising interest rates to try to control decades of high inflation. But the Bank of Japan has resisted tightening monetary policy, a move that would counter inflationary pressures by discouraging corporate and consumer borrowing.

“As the Bank of Japan is one of the few outliers that has not embarked on a rate hike process, the turning point will be a key question for next year,” IG’s Jun Rong Yeap said in a commentary. .

US markets were closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving but will return for a shorter session on Friday.

In energy trading, benchmark US crude was up $1.08 cents to $79.02 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 95 cents to $86.19 a barrel in London.

In currency trading, the US dollar rose to 138.83 Japanese yen from 138.58 yen. The euro was priced at $1.0419, slowly rising from $1.0411.

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

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