Global stocks follow Wall St higher with China closed

Global stocks gained Wednesday while China was closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

London and Frankfurt opened higher. Tokyo and Sydney gained. The future for Wall Street’s S&P; 500 index was higher.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.5% to 7,574.35. Frankfurt’s DAX gained 1% to 15,619.39 and the CAC 40 in Paris added 1.4% to 7,099.49.

On Wall Street, the S&P; 500 future was up 0.4%. That for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off less than 0.1%.

On Tuesday, the S&P; 500 gained 0.7%, boosted by gains for energy and tech stocks in a late burst of buying. The Dow rose 0.8% and the Nasdaq composite added 0.7%.

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 1.8% to 27,552.61 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX; 200 advanced 1.3% to 7,094.80.

India’s Sensex advanced 0.9% to 59,403.16. New Zealand’s benchmark gained 1.9% after the government reported record-low unemployment of 3.2% in the final quarter of 2021. Jakarta also advanced.

U.S. stocks are coming off their worst month since early in the pandemic nearly two years ago.

Investors are trying to figure out how the economy and corporate profits will be affected by upcoming Federal Reserve rate hikes, intended to cool inflation that has surged to a four-decade high.

The S&P; 500 is within 5.2% of its Jan. 3 all-time high.

Fed officials said in mid-December that plans to wind down bond purchases and other stimulus that are boosting prices would be accelerated to cool inflation.

Consumers have kept spending despite price rises, but forecasters worry retail purchases might weaken, crimping economic growth.

Investors expect the Fed to hike rates at least four times this year, starting in March.

On Friday, the Labor Department reports U.S. employment for January.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude gained 27 cents to $88.47 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 5 cents on Tuesday to $88.20. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, added 30 cents to $90.46 per barrel in London. It fell 10 cents the previous session to $89.16.

The dollar edged up to 114.76 yen from Tuesday’s 114.71 yen. The euro rose to $1.1287 from $1.1254.

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