World Shares Mostly Slip as Investors Eye Corporate Earnings

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BANGKOK—Shares were mostly lower in Europe and Asia on Tuesday as investors geared up for a slew of corporate earnings reports.

U.S. futures edged 0.1 percent higher but oil prices fell back.

In London, the FTSE 100 fell 0.6 percent to 6,972.74 as Britain’s third prime minister this year, Rishi Sunak, prepared to take office and appoint a Cabinet to grapple with the U.K.’s economic and political crises.

Germany’s DAX fell 0.8 percent to 12,824.91 following the release of a German Business Climate report that was better than expected but overall gloomy, with no “meaningful signal of improvement in the German economy,” Alex Kuptsikevich, FxPro senior market analyst, said in a report.

In Asia, markets remained jittery over the outcome of a Communist Party congress in China, where key reformers were excluded from the highest ranks of ruling party leadership. Hong Kong’s benchmark edged 0.1 percent lower, to 15,165.59, failing to hold onto early gains after a 6.4 percent selloff the day before. The Shanghai Composite index fell less than 0.1 percent, to 2,976.28.

Chinese stocks have languished after the Communist Party congress awarded leader Xi Jinping an unprecedented third five-year term and installed key Xi allies as top ruling party leaders, vanquishing officials considered pro-market reformers.

Xi wants a bigger Communist Party role in China’s business and technology development, raising fears centralized control will stunt an economy that already is slowing.

But that might not mean major policy changes, said Iris Pang of ING.

That’s because “most, if not all, existing policy decisions has been agreed with Xi. This applies to potential changes in the central bank governor, banking regulator, and economic adviser.”

The Chinese yuan slid to a 15-year low of 7.3089 to the U.S. dollar after China’s central bank appeared to ease off trying to counter market forces that were pushing the tightly controlled currency lower. The yuan has declined as U.S. interest rate hikes encouraged banks and other traders to convert money to dollars in search of higher returns.

In September, Chinese commercial banks were instructed by the People’s Bank of China to keep the exchange rate stable and not to bet on the yuan weakening. But after the ruling party’s congress ended over the weekend, the central bank set the yuan’s starting price for trading Tuesday unusually low.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index rose 1 percent to 27,250.28, while the Kospi in Seoul lost 0.1 percent, to 2,235.07. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.3 percent to 6,798.60. India’s Sensex slipped 0.5 percent, while Taiwan’s benchmark lost 1.5 percent.

Financial Markets Wall Street
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York on Oct. 4, 2022. (Seth Wenig/AP Photo)

On Wall Street on Monday, stocks extended gains from last week as investors geared up for a heavy week of earnings from big technology companies.

The S&P 500 rose 1.2 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 1.3 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite closed 0.9 percent higher. The Russell 2000 index climbed 0.4 percent.

Google’s parent company, along with Facebook’s parent, Amazon and Apple are all reporting their latest financial results this week. They are among the priciest stocks in the benchmark S&P 500 and their earnings this week could mean big moves, up or down, for the broader market.

Several big companies outside of the tech sector are also reporting earnings this week, including Coca-Cola, General Motors and Caterpillar.

Investors are looking for indications of inflation’s impact on various industries. Prices on everything from clothing to food remain at their highest levels in four decades, putting pressure on companies to raise prices and cut costs, while squeezing consumers.

The Federal Reserve and central banks around the world have been raising interest rates to tame inflation and those increases have been weighing on pricier stocks, like technology companies, by making less-risky bonds seem more attractive in a volatile stock market.

The Fed is expected to raise interest rates another three-quarters of a percentage point at its upcoming meeting in November.

Economists and investors worry central banks could go too far in slowing economic activity, triggering a recession. They’re looking for any sign they might ease up on rate increases. The U.S. economy is already slowing down, contracting during the first half the year.

The U.S. government will release its third-quarter gross domestic product report on Thursday.

In other trading, the dollar rose to 148.91 Japanese yen from 148.94 yen. The euro fell to 98.70 cents from 98.75 cents.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell $1.35 to $83.23 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international pricing standard, shed $1.22 to $89.99 per barrel.

By Elaine Kurtenbach

The Associated Press

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