World Stocks Mixed, Oil Prices Climb After Fed Rate Hike

BEIJING (AP) -- Asian stocks surged Thursday while European markets opened lower after the Federal Reserve announced its first interest rate hike since 2008 and China promised support for its real estate and internet industries.

Oil prices rose more than $4 per barrel.

London and Frankfurt and Wall Street futures sank. Hong Kong's market benchmark jumped more than 7% and Tokyo gained 3.5%. Shanghai, Seoul and Sydney advanced.

Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index rose 2.2% after the Fed raised its short-term lending rate by 0.25 percentage points on Wednesday. The widely anticipated change was less than the 0.5 percentage point hike advocated by some officials.

"Far from choking off growth, the start of the Fed tightening cycle seems to have been greeted warmly," Chris Turner and Francesco Pesole of ING said in a report. "Investors are cheering measures to address high inflation."

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London lost 0.1% to 7,283.28 and the DAX in Frankfurt sank 0.4% to 14,382.35. The CAC 40 in Paris shed less than 0.1% to 6,582.80.

The Bank of England was expected to raise its key interest rate Thursday for the third time since December as it pushes ahead faster than other central banks in combating a global wave of inflation fueled by soaring energy prices.

The future for the S&P 500 was 0.3% lower and that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 0.2%.

On Wednesday, the Dow added 1.4% and the Nasdaq composite gained 3.8% for its biggest daily gain in 16 months.

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose to 21,501.23, adding to the previous day's explosive 9.1% gain.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo advanced to 26,652.89 and the Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.4% to 3,215.04.

Asian markets were buoyed by Beijing's promise Wednesday to "invigorate the economy" by supporting the struggling real estate industry, internet companies and entrepreneurs who want to raise capital abroad.

Chinese leaders announced no detailed initiatives but appeared to be trying to rebuild private sector confidence after anti-monopoly, data-security and anti-debt crackdowns caused stock prices to plunge.

The Kospi in Seoul was 1.3% higher at 2,694.51 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 added 1.1% to 7,250.80.

India's Sensex gained 1.9% to 57,873.54. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also gained.

The Fed, in a move officials discussed in advance, is trying to cool inflation that is at a four-decade high by gradually withdrawing ultra-low interest rates and other stimulus that boosted share prices.

Other central banks also are preparing to withdraw stimulus they poured into the global economy after the coronavirus pandemic struck.

That is fueling anxiety among investors about economic growth, which also faces threats from Russia's war on Ukraine, coronavirus outbreaks in China, soaring oil prices and uncertain global consumer demand.

Forecasters expect as many as seven U.S. interest rate hikes this year.

Fed chairman Jerome Powell said that before the Russian invasion of Ukraine he expected inflation to stabilize in the first quarter of this year. He said he now believes inflation will come down in the second half.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude added $4.11 to $99.15 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.40 to $95.04 on Wednesday. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, gained $4.16 to $102.16 per barrel in London. It declined $1.89 the previous session to $98.02.

Oil prices jumped in late February over concern President Vladimir Putin's war on Ukraine might disrupt supplies from Russia, the second-biggest exporter.

The dollar declined to 118.55 yen from Wednesday's 118.69 yen. The euro advanced to $1.1030 from $1.0940.