World Shares Are Mixed After Lackluster Day on Wall Street, but Tokyo Jumps 2 Percent


HONG KONG—World markets were mixed on Wednesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street, while Tokyo’s benchmark hit its highest level since March 1990 as a weaker yen lifted stock prices of export manufacturers.

The future for the S&P 500 was up 0.2 percent, while that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was almost unchanged.

Germany’s DAX advanced 0.4 percent to 16,745.08 and the CAC 40 in Paris picked up 0.3 percent to 7,447.90. Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.1 percent to 7,676.91.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 2.1 percent to 34,465.00, helped by heavy buying of chipmakers and by speculation that the Bank of Japan may not opt to change its ultra-lax monetary policy as soon as thought after wages fell for a 20th straight month in November.

A weakening of the yen against the U.S. dollar also lifted share prices of export manufacturers like computer chip maker Kyocera Corp., which jumped 5.7 percent. Sony Group Corp. was up 3.8 percent and robot-maker Fanuc Corp. advanced 2.8 percent.

The Japanese benchmark is trading at levels last seen in 1990 before the implosion of its “bubble economy,” when prices of property and other assets soared to stratospheric levels.

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The U.S. dollar rose to 144.91 Japanese yen Wednesday from 144.48 yen. It had dipped in the past week on expectations the Bank of Japan might be poised to shift gears after years of keeping its benchmark interest rate at minus 0.1 percent.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.6 percent to 16,097.28, and the Shanghai Composite index lost 0.5 percent to 2,877.70.

South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.8 percent to 2,541.98, after the country’s unemployment rate stood at the highest since January 2022, according to Statistics Korea.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia slipped 0.7 percent to 7,468.50.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 slipped 0.1 percent following its best day in nearly two months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4 percent and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.1 percent.

The U.S. government will give its latest monthly update on inflation at the consumer level on Thursday. That is one of the measures the Federal Reserve relies on in deciding on its interest rate policy.

On Friday, big companies in the S&P 500 will begin reporting their results for the final three months of 2023. The broad expectation is for companies in the index to report modest growth in earnings per share from a year earlier.

In other trading Wednesday, a barrel of benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 14 cents to $72.10 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 2 cents to $77.61.

The euro rose to $1.0946 from $1.0931.

By Zimo Zhong


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