Global stock markets were mixed Tuesday as investors waited for an update on U.S. inflation that has been stronger than expected.
London and Shanghai declined while Frankfurt and Tokyo advanced, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 hitting a 31-year high.
Investors were watching for August inflation data. Headline inflation stands above 5% as consumer and business activity revives.
The price spike has prompted fears the Federal Reserve might feel pressure to roll back easy credit and other stimulus that boosts share prices. But Fed officials have indicated they believe the surge is temporary and they will keep interest rates low until a recovery is established.
“Risks may be tilted to the upside,” Eugene Leow of DBS said in a report. “Excessively loose monetary policy may not increase output or employment but may worsen price pressures and distort market signals further.”
In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London lost 0.4% to 7,043.76 while Frankfurt’s DAX gained less than 0.1% to 15,713.20. The CAC 40 in Paris shed 0.7% to 6,630.38.
On Wall Street, futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up less than 0.1%.
On Monday, the S&P 500 rose 0.2%, boosted by bank, energy and communications stocks. The S&P 500 was coming off its biggest weekly drop in three months.
The Dow rose 0.8% while the Nasdaq composite slipped 0.1%.
Trading on Wall Street is choppy as investors try to figure out how the economy will develop as the spread of the coronavirus’s more contagious delta variant and measures to contain it hurt consumer spending and job growth.
U.S. retail sales in August are due to be reported Thursday.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.4% to 3,662.60 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1.2% to 25,504.74. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 0.7% to 30,670.10, its highest close since Aug. 1, 1990, when Japan’s economy was in the throes of the bursting of a massive asset price bubble.
The Kospi in Seoul rose 0.7% to 3,148.83 while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 advanced 0.2% to 7,437.30.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude gained 61 cents to $71.06 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 73 cents on Monday to $70.45. Brent crude, used to price international oils, advanced 67 cents to $74.18 per barrel in London. It added 59 cents the previous session to $73.51 a barrel.
The dollar was little-changed at 110.01 yen. The euro advanced to $1.1824 from $1.1804.