FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2020, file photo trader Ashley Lara works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Feb. 19. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Global stocks mixed after Wall Street rises to record

February 20, 2020 - 4:27 am
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TOKYO (AP) — Global shares were mixed Thursday, while the Shanghai benchmark jumped 1.8% after China's central bank cut interest rates to help ease credit for companies stricken by a virus outbreak centered on the Chinese city of Wuhan.

France's CAC 40 edged down nearly 0.1% in early trading to 6,105.81. Germany's DAX fell 0.2% to 13,759.70, while Britain's FTSE 100 edged up less than 0.1% to 7,462.54. U.S. shares were steady, with Dow futures down 0.1% at 29,309.00. S&P 500 futures fell 0.1% to 3,383.60.

China's central bank cut its one-year loan prime rate to 4.05% from 4.15% on Thursday, a move aimed at mitigating the economic damage from the COVID-19 sickness that is spreading mostly in China. The 5-year loan prime rate was cut to 4.75% from 4.80%. A medium-term rate was cut earlier in the week, raising hopes for further monetary stimulus.

“Despite continued news on the virus, the market remains sanguine as Chinese officials continue their efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the economy,” RaboResearch said in a statement.

For now, at least, investors seem to be confident that China’s central bank, the Federal Reserve and other central banks can prop up the economy.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.3% to finish at 23,479.15, shedding bigger early gains. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3% to 7,162.50. and the Shanghai Composite index picked up 1.8% to 3,030.15. But South Korea's Kospi lost 0.7% to 2,195.50. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped 0.2% to 27,609.16, while India's Sensex was little changed at 41,330.57.

Overnight, U.S. stocks shook off their latest virus-induced losses, breaching new record highs.

Technology stocks led the rally, as Apple recovered most of its loss from the day before. It dropped Tuesday after warning that revenue this quarter would fall short of forecasts due to the viral outbreak centered in China.

Low rates have been a key underpinning for the strong U.S. stock market, which has rallied even though growth in corporate profits has been weak. The Fed released minutes Wednesday afternoon from its last policy meeting, where officials said they see the current level of monetary policy “as likely to remain appropriate for a time,” at least until data on the economy shows a change in momentum.

ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil added21 cents to $53.70a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It jumped $1.20 to $53.49 overnight. Brent crude oil, the international standard,was unchanged at $59.12 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar edged up to111.72Japanese yen from 110.34 yen on Wednesday. The euro weakened slightly to$1.0790from $1.0805.

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Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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