Stocks open higher, Delta leads gains in travel agencies | National
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks manage to post modest gains early on Wall Street on Wednesday. Airlines and other travel-related businesses were in the lead after Delta Air Lines said it was seeing an increase in bookings. The S&P 500 added 0.3%. The benchmark just suffered three straight losses prompted by lingering worries about inflation and the harsh remedy the Federal Reserve plans to use against it, higher interest rates. An inflation report came in hotter than expected by economists. Soaring energy costs pushed wholesale prices to a record 11.2% last month from a year earlier.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. futures slipped as investors gained more insight into the impact of inflation and the pandemic on corporate health as quarterly earnings reports arrive.
Benchmarks ended higher in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Australia. US futures fell and oil prices rose.
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The French CAC 40 rose 0.6% to 6,499.1, while the German DAX lost 0.8% to 14,012.6. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.02% to 7,577.8. US stocks are expected to fall with Dow futures down 0.26% at 34,220.36. S&P 500 futures fell 0.34% to 4,397.45.
Shares fell in Shanghai after the Chinese government announced that exports increased nearly 16% in March compared to a year earlier when imports were stable.
The relaxation of a Shanghai COVID-19 lockdown was another encouraging factor. Shanghai has released 6,000 more people from central facilities where they were under medical observation to guard against the coronavirus, the government said on Wednesday, although the lockdown of most of China’s largest city remains in its third week. .
“The good news is that China will start to emerge from lockdowns at some point, and there will be an injection of stimulus of some form by the authorities to restart communities and the economy. The light at the end of the tunnel is reasonably bright for China,” Clifford Bennett, chief economist at ACY Securities, said in a commentary, adding, “Don’t expect a return to runaway growth though.”
New Zealand’s benchmark equity index edged down 0.1% after the central bank raised its key interest rate to 1.5%, a sharp rise from the previous 1%, as that it is trying to control inflation to close to 6%. This increase follows three previous increases of 0.25%.
The Reserve Bank’s committee said it was trying to quickly return to a more neutral framework after cutting rates to near zero when the coronavirus pandemic hit. He said inflationary pressures have been aggravated by supply disruptions and the war in Ukraine.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.9% to 26,843.49. Australia’s S&P/AS 200 gained 0.3% to 7,479.00. The South Korean Kospi jumped 1.9% to 2,716.49. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.3% to 21,374.37, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.8% to 3,186.82.
In Tokyo trading, shares of Shionogi fell 11% after the Japanese pharmaceutical company reported that animal testing for its experimental oral drug to treat COVID-19 showed it may pose a risk to the development of the fetus. Japanese media reported that the drug will not be prescribed to pregnant women or those who may be pregnant.
Investors have been weigh inflation data in the United States for the month of March, although overall it remained at its highest level in 40 years. Some analysts have called for caution.
““The fact remains that price pressures are still elevated at their highest level in 40 years and the short-term outlook for aggressive policy tightening to cool demand remains unchanged,” said Yeap Jun Rong, strategist market at IG in Singapore.
In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude added $1.26 to $101.86 a barrel. It climbed 6.7% to settle at $100.60 on Tuesday. Brent, the international standard, rose $1.47 to $106.14.
The concern is that the US Federal Reserve could be so aggressive in raising interest rates that it would force the economy into recession. Higher interest rates can discourage all kinds of investments.
Further swings could be expected for stocks as companies prepare to report earnings for the first three months of the year. Delta Air Lines posted a loss but summer bookings are increasing. JPMorgan Chase wrote off its Russian assets, causing its quarterly profit to fall 42%.
In currency trading, the US dollar rose slightly to 125.85 Japanese yen from 125.37 yen. The Euro traded at $1.0829, down from $1.0827 previously.
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