Global Stocks Fall Amid Concerns About Interest Rates, Earnings | Health, Med. & Fitness

By YURI KAGEYAMA – AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — European stocks fell on Monday, following losses in Asia, as worries about interest rate hikes dominated a range of investor concerns.

The Shanghai Composite Index sank 5.1% and Hong Kong fell 3.7%, as China tightened its strict pandemic policies while the number of cases rose.

Oil prices fell more than $4 a barrel and the US dollar was trading near 128 Japanese yen.

France’s CAC 40 fell 2.0% in early trading to 6,451.27.

the news that Emmanuel Macron won the second round of the French presidential election over the weekend, securing a second term as widely expected, he assured markets that France will not abruptly change course amid the war in Ukraine.

But the significant spectacle of contender Marine Le Pen, a populist and nationalist, served as a reminder of how fragile that situation could be, analysts said. Le Pen vowed to dilute France’s ties with the EU, NATO and Germany, and spoke out against EU sanctions on Russian energy supplies.

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Germany’s DAX lost 1.4% to 13,943.88. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 2.2% to 7,354.94. The Dow Industrial future fell 0.7% while the S&P 500 future fell 0.8%.

In Asian trade, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 1.9% to finish at 26,590.78. South Korea’s Kospi fell 1.8% to 2,657.13. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 770 points to 19,869.34, while the Shanghai Composite lost 158 ​​points to 2,928.51, falling below 3,000 for the first time since July 2020.

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Hong Kong-traded shares of internet firm Baidu fell 7%, while PetroChina lost 4% on falling oil prices.

“After the strong sell-off on Wall Street that ended last week, the overall risk appetite in the region may also come under pressure,” said Yeap Jun Rong, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

The increase in COVID-19 cases in China is skyrocketing concerns about more pandemic blockades that would hamper economic recovery in the region. Beijing imposed lockdowns in several districts after the number of cases rose.

Investors are also keeping an eye on earnings reports from companies, including large Japanese firms, due in the coming weeks. Several reports from US companies, which have already been released, have been disappointing, contributing to the slump that ended last week on Wall Street.

What the US Federal Reserve might do is a priority for investors. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve has indicated the central bank may raise short-term interest rates to double the usual rate at upcoming meetings, starting in two weeks. The Fed has already raised its key overnight rate once, the first such increase since 2018.

Markets around the world are feeling similar pressure on rates and inflation, particularly in Europe, as the war in Ukraine drives up oil, gas and food costs.

In energy trading, benchmark US crude lost $4.71 to $97.36 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, fell $4.86 to $101.29 a barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar fell to 128.11 Japanese yen from 128.59 yen. The euro cost $1.07444, down from $1.0803.

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