Global Shares Mixed in Muted Trading Amid Growth Fears

A man looks at an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Global shares were mixed in muted trading Wednesday amid continuing worries about trade tensions and slowing global economic growth.

France’s CAC 40 shed 0.5 percent in early trading to 5,292.91, while Germany’s DAX fell nearly 0.3 percent at 11,943.71. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged down nearly 0.2 percent to 7,224.29. U.S. shares were set to drift lower with Dow futures down 0.1 percent at 26,456. S&P 500 futures were also down 0.1 percent at 2,885.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.2 percent to finish at 23,506.04, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 inched up 0.1 percent to 6,049.80. South Korea’s Kospi lost 1.1 percent to 2,228.61. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.2 percent to 26,225.19, while the Shanghai Composite gained nearly 0.2 percent to 2,725.84.

The S&P 500 ended down 4.09 points, or 0.1 percent, at 2,880.34. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 56.21, or 0.2 percent, to 26,430.57, and the Nasdaq composite added 2.07, or less than 0.1 percent, to 7,738.02.

The International Monetary Fund has downgraded its forecast for global economic growth in its latest report, citing higher interest rates and ongoing trade battles. The IMF said the global economy will grow 3.7 percent this year, the same as in 2017, but down from its earlier forecast of 3.9 percent. The IMF also cut its forecast for Chinese economic growth in 2019 to 6.2 percent, which would be its slowest since 1990.

“This has weighed on risk sentiment amid worsened relations between China and the U.S. over hardware hack allegations,” said Zhu Huani at Mizuho Bank in Singapore, referring to the IMF report. “Increasing degree of distrust between the two could further complicate already frosty trade talks.”

U.S. crude fell 30 cents to $74.66 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, dropped 27 cents to $84.73 a barrel.

The dollar slipped to 113.06 Japanese yen from 113.21 yen late Tuesday. The euro rose to $1.1486 from $1.1437.

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