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Stock market today: Global shares mostly higher after calm day on Wall St

Stock market today: Global shares mostly higher after calm day on Wall St

Wall Street leaned toward small losses early Wednesday, coming off a four-day winning streak that’s been driven broadly by better-than-expected earnings reports from U.S. companies.

Oil prices continued their recent slide and the Japanese yen weakened further against the dollar.

Futures for the S&P 500 slid 0.2% before the bell, while futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked down less than 0.1%.

Uber tumbled 7.4% after it surprised investors with a 32 cents-per-share loss in its most recent quarter and fewer gross bookings than Wall Street expected. A day earlier, Uber rival Lyft reported better sales and profit than analysts were projecting, boosting its shares 5.6% after hours.

Reddit jumped 11% in premarket after the online message board posted a smaller loss than expected as its revenue grew nearly 50% from the previous quarter on record traffic to its site.

Markets have steadied after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank remains closer to cutting its main interest rate than hiking it, despite a string of stubbornly high readings on inflation this year. A cooler-than-expected jobs report on Friday suggested the U.S. economy could pull off the balancing act of staying solid enough to avoid a bad recession without being so strong that it keeps inflation too high.

Elsewhere, in Europe at midday Germany’s DAX rose 0.4% and the CAC 40 in Paris jumped 0.9%. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.3%.

In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 1.6% to 38,202.37.

Nintendo Co.’s share price sank 5.4% after the company’s forecasts disappointed investors and it announced that news of a successor product to its popular Switch device will be made by March 2025.

Sony Corp. shed 5% amid speculation over a potential buyout of Paramount Global by Sony Pictures and the private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

Market players are watching to see how authorities react to the yen’s persisting weakness against the U.S. dollar.

The dollar rose to 155.44 Japanese yen from 154.50 yen. Japanese officials have expressed concern after the yen’s value slipped to 160.25 per dollar in recent days, prompting the Ministry of Finance to intervene.

“Exchange-rate moves could have a big impact on the economy and prices, so there’s a chance we may need to respond with monetary policy,” Kazuo Ueda, governor of the Bank of Japan, told lawmakers on Wednesday.

A weak yen helps the profits of Japanese companies that earn much of their revenue overseas, but fluctuations in rates can upend planning and the yen’s weakness has severely eroded the purchasing power of both households and businesses, pushing up costs of imports of food and energy, among other things.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 0.8% to 18,331.76 and the Shanghai Composite index gave up 0.6%, falling to 3,128.48.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.1% higher to 7,804.50, while the Kospi in South Korea rose 0.4% to 2,745.05.

Taiwan’s Taiex gained 0.2%.

In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil fell $1 to $77.38 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 10 cents on Tuesday to $78.38 per barrel.

U.S. crude prices have fallen 10% in the past month but remain about $8 per barrel higher than they were when the year began.

Brent crude oil, the international standard, declined $1.01 cents to $82.15 per barrel.

The euro dropped to $1.0747 from $1.0755.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 edged 0.1% higher in a quiet day following three straight leaps for the index of at least 0.9%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1% and the Nasdaq composite slipped 0.1%.

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