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World shares meander after Wall St ends with weekly loss


World shares and U.S. futures were mostly higher Monday, bouncing back from losses last week on Wall Street.

Stocks rose in London, Paris, Tokyo and Shanghai but fell in Hong Kong, where a Financial Times report that Chinese regulators want to break up the mammoth e-commerce payments platform Alipay dragged shares in Alibaba Group Holding nearly 4.3% lower. The company said it had no comment on the report.

Japan reported its wholesale prices were near a 13-year high in August, adding to concerns over inflation as the country prepares for a leadership transition.

Prices have surged in the world’s three largest economies, and elsewhere, as supply chain troubles, shipping bottlenecks and other disruptions arising from the pandemic have hindered a return to normal growth.

But Tokyo and most other major markets logged gains after opening lower.

Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.4% to 7,058.13, while the DAX in Germany climbed 0.7% to 15,713.86. In Paris, the CAC 40 rose 0.5% to 6,694.92.

The future for the Dow industrials was up 0.5% while that for the S&P 500 picked up 0.4%.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was steady at 1.33%.

In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 ended up 0.2% at 30,447.37 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong trimmed earlier losses, closing 1.5% lower at 25,813.81. In Seoul, the Kospi edged 0.1% higher to 3,127.86, while the S&P/ASX 200 picked up 0.3% to 7,425.20. The Shanghai Composite index gained 0.3% to 3,715.37.

“Cautious sentiments largely follow through with the downside move for U.S. markets last week, amid growth concerns along with rising inflationary pressures,” Jun Rong Yeap of IG said in a commentary.

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U.S. inflation at the wholesale level climbed 8.3% last month from August 2020, the biggest annual gain since the Labor Department started calculating the 12-month number in 2010.

Price pressures add to the likelihood that the Federal Reserve and other central banks might move sooner to nudge interest rates up from the ultra-low levels they have been kept at to help fend off the worst impacts of the pandemic.

Stocks have traded in a narrow range for several weeks as many investors stick to the sidelines waiting to get a fuller understanding of where the economy is headed and how the pandemic is impacting businesses.

On Friday, stocks pulled back and the S&P 500 lost 0.8% to 4,458.58 in its fifth straight decline, ending 1.7% lower for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.8% to 34,607.72. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite sank 0.9%, to 15,115.49.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 1%, to 2,227.55.

Federal Reserve policymakers have said they believe inflation will be transient, as the economy recovers from the pandemic. However, persistently high inflation could force the Fed’s hand to start pulling back on its bond-buying program and low interest rate policy sooner than anticipated.

In other trading Monday, U.S. benchmark crude oil added 52 cents to $70.24 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It jumped $1.58 to $69.72 per barrel on Friday.

Brent crude, the international pricing standard, climbed 51 cents to $73.43 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar edged up to 110.01 Japanese yen from 110.12 yen. The euro slipped to $1.1788 from $1.1817.

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