Stock market today: Global stocks trade mixed after Wall Street logs modest gains

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TOKYO (AP) — Global shares traded mixed Wednesday, as investors weighed recent data highlighting a slowing U.S. economy that offers both upsides and downsides for Wall Street.

France’s CAC 40 rose 0.4% to 7,966.52, while Germany’s DAX surged 0.6% to 18,516.05. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.2% to 8,249.33. The future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.2% and the S&P 500 future rose 0.1%.

In Asian trading, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 shed 0.9% to finish at 38,490.17. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.4% to 7,769.00. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.0% to 2,689.50. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.1% to 18,424.96, while the Shanghai Composite dipped 0.8% to 3,065.40.

Australia’s economy grew 0.1% in the first quarter, according to data released Wednesday, which some analysts said was weaker than expected.

“This means that the RBA faces the conundrum of having growth heading south and inflation heading north,” Tim Waterer, chief market analyst at KCM Trade, said in a commentary, referring to the Australian central bank.

Cash income for Japanese workers rose 2.1% in May, more than forecast, and analysts said recent data on wage growth in Japan will turn more pronounced once results of the recent spring labor negotiations kick in. That means the Bank of Japan may be more likely to raise interests rates.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 ticked up by 0.2%, though more stocks within the index fell than rose. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4% and the Nasdaq composite added 0.2%.

If the U.S. Federal Reserve decides to cut interest rates, that would ease pressure on financial markets. The risk is that the economy might overshoot and end up in a painful recession that would cause layoffs for workers across the country and weaken corporate profits, dragging stock prices lower.

A report Tuesday said the number of U.S. job openings at the end of April dropped to the lowest level since 2021. But it followed a report on Monday that showed U.S. manufacturing contracted in May for the 18th time in 19 months. Worries about a slowing economy have hit the price of crude oil in particular this week, raising the possibility of less growth in demand for fuel.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude rose 24 cents to $73.49 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, added 26 cents to $77.78 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar rose to 156.22 Japanese yen from 154.84 yen. The euro cost $1.0878, down from $1.0883.