World shares track Wall Street retreat, US futures edge up


BANGKOK (AP) – Shares slipped in Europe and Asia on Friday after a retreat on Wall Street that left the Nasdaq composite down 2.5percent.

Germany’s DAX lost 0.6percent to 15,928.83 and the CAC 40 in Paris shed 0.7percent to 7,145.19. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged 0.1percent lower to 7,556.29. On Wall Street, the future for the Dow industrials and the Sandamp;P 500 both were 0.1percent higher.

China reported its global trade surplus surged nearly 30percent in 2021 to (dollar)676.4 billion. The trade surplus in December swelled 20.8percent over a year earlier to a monthly record of (dollar)94.4 billion, customs data showed Friday.

Exports rose to (dollar)3.3 trillion in 2021 despite shortages of processor chips for smartphones and other products as global demand rebounded from the pandemic. Manufacturers also were hampered by power rationing imposed in some areas.

South Korea´s central bank raised its key interest rate to 1.25percent from 1percent, acting to counter inflation. But while it is dialing back monetary stimulus, having raised the benchmark rate twice so far, the government announced 14 trillion won ((dollar)11 billion) in extra spending Friday, mainly to help small businesses recovering from the impact of waves of coronavirus outbreaks.

Inflation surged to 3.7percent in December, and the latest rate hike “gives a strong signal that the Bank is prioritizing clamping down on inflation and financial imbalances,” Alex Holmes of Capital Economics said in a report. “It´s pretty clear that more hikes are imminent,” he said.

In Asian trading, South Korea´s Kospi declined 1.4percent to 2,921.92.

The Shanghai Composite index lost 1percent to 3,521.26 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.2percent to 24,383.32. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 1.3percent to 28,124.28.

In Sydney, the Sandamp;PASX 200 shed 1.1percent to 7,393.90.

India’s Sensex was 0.1percent lower.

Technology companies led a sell-off on Wall Street Thursday that pulled the major indexes into the red for the week.

The Sandamp;P 500 fell 1.4percent to 4,659.03. The tech-heavy Nasdaq slumped 2.5percent to 14,806.81. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5percent to 36,113.62.

Smaller company stocks also fell. The Russell 2000 slid 16.62 points, or 0.8percent, to 2,159.44.

The selling came as investors gauged company earnings reports and new data pointing to rising prices at the wholesale level. The Labor Department on Thursday reported that its producer price index, which measures prices at the wholesale level, surged by a record 9.7percent for all of 2021. The increase set an annual record and provides further evidence that inflation is still present at all levels of the U.S. economy.

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