Global Stocks Higher on Hopes US Rate Hike Plans Will Ease

BEIJING (AP) -- Global stock markets mostly gained Wednesday on hopes the Federal Reserve might ease off plans for interest rate hikes, while London opened lower after Britain installed its third prime minister this year amid an economic crisis.

Other European markets gained. Shanghai, Tokyo and Sydney closed higher. The euro edged above $1.

The future for Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index declined after gaining for a third day Wednesday after bond prices rose. That suggested some investors expect the Fed to ease off rate hikes as economic activity cools.

Traders see weaker U.S. housing prices and other data as support for a "dial back" of Fed plans at its December meeting, said Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank in a report.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London lost 0.2% to 7,001.84 after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak warned Tuesday of a "profound economic crisis."

The DAX in Frankfurt gained 0.7% to 13,146.40 and the CAC 40 in Paris added 0.4% to 6,274.66.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 future lost 0.6% and that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was unchanged.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 gained 1.6%. The Dow rose 1.1% and the Nasdaq advanced 2.3%.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury, or the difference between the market price and the payout at maturity, slipped to 4.09% from 4.23% late Monday. The yield on the two-year Treasury, which tracks Federal Reserve action, fell to 4.45% from 4.50% late Monday.

The Fed and other central banks have been raising interest rates to slow economic growth and reduce pressure for prices to rise. Investors worry that might tip the global economy into recession.

Traders have become more confident the Fed will reduce its rate hike plans from three-quarters to half a percentage point at its December meeting, according to CME Group.

The U.S. economy contracted during the first half the year. The government will release its third-quarter gross domestic product report on Thursday.

Wall Street's gains were led by tech stocks, retailers and communication companies.

Investors are looking at corporate results to see how inflation that is at multidecade highs is affecting consumer spending.

General Motors Co. rose 3.6% after delivering solid results. United Parcel Service slipped 0.3% after the package delivery service beat earnings and revenue forecasts.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.8% to 2,999.50 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 1% to 15,317.67.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 0.7% to 27,431.84 following news reports the government was preparing to announce a stimulus plan this week that could exceed 20 trillion yen ($140 billion).

The Kospi in Seoul added 0.7% to 2,249.56. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.2% to 6,810.90 after the government reported Australian inflation rose to 7.3% in the three months ending in September.

New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets rose. Indian markets were closed for a holiday.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude gained 43 cents to $85.75 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 74 cents to $85.32 on Tuesday. Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trading, added 9 cents to $91.83 per barrel in London. It gained 26 cents the previous session to $93.52.

The dollar slipped to 146.98 yen from Tuesday's 147.97 yen. The euro advanced to $1.0039 from 99.66 cents.