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Global shares trading mixed as China reports growth slowed

Global shares were mostly lower on Thursday after China reported its economic growth slowed in the April-June quarter to a still robust 7.9%.

France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.2% in early trading to 6,547.07. Germany’s DAX edged down 0.5% to 15,710.47, while Britain’s FTSE 100 gained less than 0.1%, to 7,096.79. The future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.2%. The S&P 500 future was nearly unchanged.

China’s economy expanded at an 18.3% annual rate in January-March and the latest data showing growth slowed in the last quarter reflects a leveling off of its relatively early recovery from the pandemic, economists said.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 1.2% to finish at 28,279.09. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.3% to 7,335.90. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.7% to 3,286.22. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.8% to 27,996.27, while the Shanghai Composite rose nearly 1.0% to 3,564.59.

Market reaction to the Chinese GDP news was muted.

“With little direction from Wall Street, which seems to be focusing on upcoming earnings now, Asian markets have been left to their own individual devices,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst Asia Pacific at OANDA, said in a commentary.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 eked out a 0.1% gain, to 4,374.30, after recovering from an early stumble and then losing much of its momentum by late afternoon. The Nasdaq composite slipped 0.2%, to 14,644.95.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1%, to 34,993.23. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies slid 1.6% to 2,202.36.

Investors are keeping an eye on the latest comments on inflation from the Federal Reserve chair, who reaffirmed the Fed’s view that the surge in costs across the economy is temporary.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell suggested in testimony to a House committee that inflation will likely remain elevated, but eventually moderate, reinforcing the central bank’s position that rising inflation is a temporary impact from the recovering economy.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude fell 62 cents to $72.51 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It dropped $2.12 to $73.13 per barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, shed 46 cents to $74.30 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar fell to 109.79 Japanese yen from 109.97 yen. The euro cost $1.1844, up from $1.1838.

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