World Stocks Lower Thursday

HONG KONG (AP) -- World stock markets generally declined Thursday, tracking Wall Street's fall after the latest Fed report rekindled fears about inflation and rising bond yields.

KEEPING SCORE: European markets fell in early trading. Britain's FTSE 100 slid 1 percent to 7,205.21 and Germany's DAX lost 0.5 percent to 12,384.33. France's CAC 40 retreated 0.4 percent to 5,279.97. Wall Street was poised to open lower. Dow futures fell 0.3 percent to 24,716.00 and broader S&P 500 futures dipped 0.1 percent to 2,695.80.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index sank 1.1 percent to close at 21,736.44 and South Korea's Kospi shed 0.6 percent to 2,414.28. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1.5 percent to 30,965.68 but the Shanghai Composite jumped 2.2 percent to 3,268.56, fueled by pent-up demand from investors in mainland China, where markets reopened after a weeklong holiday. Australia's S&P ASX 200 edged up 0.1 percent to 5,950.90. Taiwan's benchmark fell and Southeast Asian indexes were mostly lower.

MEETING MINUTES: The Federal Reserve's minutes from its most recent policy meeting indicated bullish sentiment among policymakers about the outlook for U.S. and global economic growth, reinforcing expectations of further interest rate rises this year. Wall Street initially welcomed the report but soon U.S. Treasury yields spiked to their highest level in four years, snuffing out the market rally in a sign of renewed worries about rising inflation. Higher yields generally hurt stock prices by making bonds more attractive than equities.

MARKET VIEW: Investor sentiment is "still fairly positive and the global economy is still doing well but when we go into this uncertainty over the Federal Reserve Board's narrative I think that confusion reigns and that's the issue we're having right now," said Stephen Innes, head of Asian trading at OANDA.

GERMAN GROWTH: Investors get more insight into the global economy with the upcoming release of a monthly survey on German business confidence. The Ifo institute's report is a closely watched indicator for Europe's biggest economy. No other major economic data releases are expected Thursday.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 63 cents to $61.05 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 11 cents to settle at $61.68 per barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 49 cents to $65.00 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 107.29 yen from 107.77 yen in late trading Wednesday. The euro edged higher to $1.2286 from $1.2284.

(BE)