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World stocks mixed after Wall Street hits new records


Nikkei 225 index added 1.4% to 38,920.26, Hang Seng index advanced 1.6% to 19,376.53, the Shanghai Composite index inched up 0.1%, to 3,122.40, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.7% to 7,881.30, Kospi added 0.8% to 2,753.00, Taiwan’s Taiex was 0.7% higher, while the Sensex in India shed 0.4%

Share opened lower Thursday in Europe after most Asian benchmarks rose, tracking a Wall Street rally driven by hopes that inflation is heading back in the right direction.

The optimism came from a report on Wednesday showing U.S. consumers had to pay prices for gasoline, car insurance and everything else in April that were 3.4% higher overall than a year earlier, less than March’s inflation rate of 3.5%.

The slowdown was a relief after reports for the CPI earlier this year had consistently come in worse than expected. The report built on expectations that the Fed might trim its main interest rate this year, the major preoccupation for most investors.

In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index added 1.4% to 38,920.26, even after the government reported that the Japanese economy declined at a 2% annual rate in the January-March quarter.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 1.6% to 19,376.53. The Shanghai Composite index inched up 0.1%, to 3,122.40.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.7% to 7,881.30 while South Korea’s Kospi added 0.8% to 2,753.00.

Taiwan’s Taiex was 0.7% higher and the Sensex in India shed 0.4%.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 climbed 1.2% to top its earlier high set a month and a half back, closing at 5,308.15. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) advanced 0.9% to 39,908.00, and the Nasdaq climbed 1.4% to 16,742.39, adding to its own record set a day earlier.

Another report Wednesday showed no growth in spending at U.S. retailers in April from March. Economists had expected 0.4% growth.

Slowing retail sales could be seen as a positive for markets, because it could reduce the upward pressure on inflation. But weaker U.S. consumer spending would erode one of the main pillars keeping the economy out of a recession. Pressure has grown especially high on lower-income households.

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