Global stocks mixed as Pelosi visit to Taiwan irks Beijing

Hong Kong Financial Markets
Asian stock markets rose Wednesday as traders watched for signs trade might be disrupted by U.S.-Chinese tension over an American lawmaker's visit to Taiwan. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

BEIJING (Associated Press) — Global stock markets were mixed Wednesday as traders watched for potential economic impact from the visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

London and Shanghai fell. Frankfurt, Tokyo and Hong Kong gained. Oil prices declined.

China, which claims self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory, banned imports of Taiwanese citrus fruits and frozen fish in retaliation for Pelosi’s visit. But it has avoided disrupting the flow of processor chips and other industrial goods, a step that could jolt the global economy.

“The real show of force by China is still to come,” said Clifford Bennett of ACY Securities in a report.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London lost 0.2% 7,392.56 while the DAX in Frankfurt gained less than 0.1% to 13,454.28. The CAC 40 in Paris edged 0.1% higher to 6,417.52.

On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark S&P 500 index was up 0.2% and that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.3% higher.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 lost 0.7% on Tuesday after the Labor Department said American employers posted fewer job openings than expected in June following interest rate hikes to cool surging inflation. The benchmark is down nearly 1% this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.2%, largely because of a tumble for Caterpillar, a maker of earth moving equipment. It fell 5.8% after it reported weaker revenue for the latest quarter than expected.

The Nasdaq composite slipped 0.2% to 12,348.76.

In Asian trading, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.7% to 3,163.67 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 0.5% to 27,741.90. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.4% to 19,767.09.

Taiwan’s Taiex gained 0.2% to 14,777.02 after Beijing gave no sign it might disrupt industries such as Taiwanese producers of processor chips needed by Chinese factories that assemble the world’s smartphones.

The Kospi in Seoul advanced 0.9% to 2,461.54 while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.3% to 6,975.90.

India’s Sensex lost less than 0.1% to 58,158.34. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets rose.

Investors worry aggressive efforts by the Federal Reserve and other central banks to tame inflation that is running at multi-decade highs might derail global economic growth.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that employers posted 10.7 million jobs in June, down from 11.3 million the previous month but still a relatively high figure. Job openings, which never exceeded 8 million in a month before last year, had topped 11 million every month from December through May before dipping in June.

Some weak data on the U.S. economy has added to suggestions the peak in inflation has passed but also indicates the risk of a recession is increasing.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 97 cents to $93.45 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 53 cents the previous day to $94.42. Brent crude declined $1.07 cents to $99.47 per barrel in London.

The dollar declined to 133.05 yen from Tuesday’s 133.17 yen. The euro gained to $1.0192 from $1.0174.

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