Global Shares Are Mixed After Central Bankers Say Interest Rates Must Stay High

BEIJING (AP) -- Global stock markets were mixed Thursday after leaders of major central banks said they need to keep interest rates high to fight persistent inflation despite fears that might tip the global economy into recession.

London and Shanghai declined while Paris and Tokyo advanced. Oil prices declined.

U.S., European and Japanese central bankers meeting Wednesday in Portugal said with hiring still strong, they have yet to extinguish upward pressure on prices. "Policy hasn't been restrictive enough for long enough," said Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

"The end of hiking interest rates is not in sight yet," Carl B. Weinberg of High-Frequency Economics said in a report.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London lost 0.2% to 7,486.36 while the CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.2% to 7,303.98. The DAX in Frankfurt was unchanged at 15,948.72.

On Wall Street, futures for the benchmark S&P 500 index and for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up less than 0.1%.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 edged down less than 0.1%. The Dow slipped 0.2% while the Nasdaq composite rose 0.3%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2% to 3,182.38 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 0.1% to 33,234.14. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong sank 1.2% to 18,934.36.

The Kospi in Seoul gave up 0.6% to 2,550.02 while Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 ended little-changed at 7,194.90.

New Zealand and Bangkok advanced. Markets in India and Singapore were closed for holidays.

Investors expect at least a brief recession this year after the Fed and central banks in Europe and Asia raised interest rates. But hiring and consumer spending have stayed unexpectedly strong, prompting suggestions a recession might be avoided.

The Fed has said it expects to raise rates one or two more times this year, while the European Central Bank and others have sounded even more aggressive.

Strong reports on U.S. consumer confidence, sales of new homes and other areas of the economy on Tuesday helped lead to a 1.1% rally for the S&P 500. This month, the S&P 500 reached its highest level since April 2022.

On Wall Street, General Mills sank 5.2% on Wednesday after the maker of Cheerios and Haagen-Dazs reported weaker revenue for the latest quarter than analysts expected.

Other food companies also fell, including drops of 4% for Hershey, 3.7% for J.M. Smucker and 3.5% for Conagra Brands.

AeroVironment, a maker of unmanned aircraft, tactical missile systems and other equipment used by the U.S. military and in Ukraine, rose 4.9% after reporting stronger profit and revenue than expected.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 31 cents to $69.25 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.86 on Wednesday to $69.56. Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trading, shed 34 cents to $73.90 per barrel in London. It gained $1.77 the previous session to $74.03.

The dollar edged down to 144.30 yen from Wednesday's 144.32 yen. The euro retreated to $1.0913 from $1.0922.