Stock Market Today: Global Shares Up Ahead of US GDP Update

TOKYO (AP) -- Global shares were mostly higher Thursday ahead of the release of data that are expected to show the world's biggest economy slowing in the first quarter of the year.

Shares rose in Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai but fell in London and Sydney. U.S. futures and oil prices were higher.

The U.S. economy stood firm last year but is expected to weaken and slip into a recession in coming months. Worries over the impact of higher interest rates aimed at vanquishing high inflation are detracting from relatively strong earnings reports for many companies.

However there are signs of resilience in the world economy: The German government doubled its growth forecast this year for Europe's largest economy after the country made it through the winter without major energy problems.

In early trading Thursday, France's CAC 40 added 0.4% to 7,496.69, while Germany's DAX edged up 0.1% to 15,814.15. Britain's FTSE 100 was at 7,844.87, down 0.1%. The future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3% and the contract for the S&P 500 future was 0.5% higher.

In Asian trading, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 recouped morning losses to add 0.2%, finishing at 28,457.68.

The Bank of Japan began a two-day monetary policy meeting under its new governor, Kazuo Ueda. No immediate change is expected to the nation's super-easy monetary policy.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.3% to 7,292.70. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.4% to 2,495.81. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.4% to 19,840.28, while the Shanghai Composite added 0.7% to 3,285.88.

Kirin Holdings Co., a Japanese maker of beer and other beverages, rose 0.5% after it announced it was acquiring 100% of the outstanding shares of Blackmores, an Australian-based company operating a natural health business in the Asia-Pacific region. The move will make Blackmores a Kirin subsidiary in a deal valued at 169.2 billion yen ($1.3 billion)

On Wall Street on Wednesday, the S&P 500 dropped 0.4% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.7%. The Nasdaq composite led the market with a gain 0.5%.

Concerns about the strength of U.S. banks have weighed on markets lately, especially the spotlight on First Republic Bank. The worry is that it and other smaller and mid-sized banks could suffer debilitating runs of deposits from customers, similar to the ones that caused last month's failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.

Even without more shutdowns, the industry's struggles could cause a pullback in lending by banks that would sap the economy. All banks are contending with much higher interest rates, which have flown higher over the past year to tighten the screws on the economy and financial markets.

The U.S. Federal Reserve's key overnight interest rate is at its highest level since 2007. High rates slow the entire economy and hurt prices for investments.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude added 22 cents to $74.52 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 36 cents to $78.05 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar rose to 133.80 Japanese yen from 133.66 yen. The euro cost $1.1053, up from $1.1042.