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October 18, 2021
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Global shares rise as Wall Street tech gain boosts optimism

TOKYO –

Global shares were mostly higher Thursday, with European benchmarks tracking gains in Asia.

Stock prices rose in Paris, London and Tokyo, while Shanghai shares were little changed after the release of data showing producer price inflation at a record high in September.

Concerns about inflation and how price pressures might affect central bank policy, consumer spending and corporate profits remain a key focus for investors, and economists have been trimming economic growth estimates in response.

France’s CAC 40 gained 0.7% in early trading to 6,646.16. Germany’s DAX was up 0.8% at 15,363.06. Britain’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.7% to 7,190.95. The future for the Dow industrials rose 0.6% to 34,445.00. The future contract for the S&P 500 was 0.7% higher at 4,384.75.

The Shanghai Composite index inched down nearly 0.1% to 3,558.28, after the government reported a surge in producer price inflation, which rose to 10.7% over a year earlier in September from 9.5% in August.

Much of the increase was due to surging coal prices, which appear not to have fed into consumer prices even as parts of the country contend with power shortages, Capital Economics said in a report. Consumer price inflation slipped to 0.7% from 0.8% in August.

Also Thursday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore raised a benchmark interest rate, citing price pressures. The move to allow the Singapore dollar to appreciate slightly against the U.S. dollar, widening the trading band from 0%, coincided with news that the city-state’s economy grew at a 6.5% annual pace in July-September.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 1.5% to finish at 28,550.93, as its new prime minister, Fumio Kishida, dissolved parliament ahead of an Oct. 31 general election. In office for about a week, Kishida has already flipflopped on major policies. But a splintered opposition means the ruling Liberal Democratic Party may still have an advantage, despite growing public disenchantment over a stagnating economy and the government’s coronavirus measures.

South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.5% to 2,988.64. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.5% to 7,311.70. Hong Kong’s trading was closed for a holiday.

Investors will get an update on U.S. consumer spending on Friday when the Commerce Department reports retail sales for September.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude jumped US$1.01 to $81.45 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 20 cents to $80.44 on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, rose $1.07 cents to $84.25 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar rose to 113.33 Japanese yen from 113.23 yen. The euro cost $1.16171, up from $1.1592.

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