Stocks are falling again in early trading on Wall Street, continuing a miserable opening to the year for markets that has put the S&P 500 on track for its fourth straight weekly loss. That hasn't happened since September 2020. The benchmark index fell 0.5% in the first few minutes of trading Friday. It's now more than 10% below the record high it set on Jan. 3. Investors are anxiously watching as the Federal Reserve prepares to withdraw its huge economic stimulus and raise interest rates to fight inflation. Technology stocks bucked the downward trend and moved higher, led by Apple.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP's earlier story follows below.
BEIJING (AP) — Major global stock markets fell Friday ahead of data on U.S. employment costs that might influence Federal Reserve decisions on interest rate hikes to cool inflation.
London and Frankfurt opened lower. Tokyo and Seoul advanced while Shanghai and Hong Kong declined.
Wall Street futures were mixed after U.S. stocks declined Thursday for a third day as investors tried to figure out how quickly the Fed might raise interest rates. Markets have been volatile since the Fed said in mid-December stimulus that is boosting stock prices would be wound down sooner than planned after inflation spiked to a 39-year high.
The Employment Cost Index due out Friday is expected to show the price of American labor rose by about 1.2% over the previous quarter in the final three months of 2021.
"Another strong wage gain could amplify market expectations" of an unusually large rate hike of 0.5 percentage points as early as March, Anderson Alves of ActivTrades said in a report.
In early trading, London’s FTSE 100 lost 0.3% to 7,531.13 and the DAX in Frankfurt fell 1.4% to 15,311.15. The CAC 40 in Paris shed 0.7% to 6,975.01.
On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark S&P 500 index was up less than 0.1%. That for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off less than 0.1%.
On Thursday, the S&P 500 fell for a third day, losing 0.5% after official data showed the U.S. economy grew 5.7% last year, its strongest rate since 1984′s 7.2% jump.
The index is within 10 points of entering a correction, meaning a drop of 10% from its Jan. 3 all-time high.
The Dow slipped less than 0.1%. The Nasdaq composite dropped 1.4%.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1% to 3,361.44 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 1.1% to 23,550.08.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo surged 2.1% to 26,717.34, recovering most of its losses from the previous day’s 2.5% slide.
The Kospi in Seoul rose 1.9% to 2,663.34 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 advanced 2.2% to 6,988.10.
India’s Sensex gained less than 0.1% to 57,322.38. New Zealand and Singapore declined while other Southeast Asian markets rose.
After Hong Kong markets closed, the territory’s government reported its economy grew 6.4% last year after economy weakened as anti-coronavirus controls were tightened. Official data showed activity expanded by
Stocks are on a roller coaster ride investors try to figure out what the Fed will do after Powell said this week inflation pressures aren’t easing.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 31 cents to $86.92 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, advanced 23 cents to $88.40 per barrel in London.
The dollar gained to 115.53 yen from Thursday’s 115.31 yen. The euro declined to $1.1134 from $1.1142.
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