Global Shares Mostly Rise Despite US Bank, China Worries

TOKYO (AP) -- Global shares mostly rose Wednesday despite worries about the U.S. banking system which set off a decline on Wall Street, and concerns closer to home about Chinese economic growth.

France's CAC 40 added 1.3% in early trading to 7,366.35, while Germany's DAX jumped 1.1% to 15,944.74. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.8% to 7,584.18. U.S. shares were set to drift higher with Dow futures up nearly 0.1% at 35,426.00. S&P 500 futures rose 0.2% to 4,528.50.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.5% to finish at 32,204.33. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.4% to 7,338.00. South Korea's Kospi added 1.2% to 2,605.12. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.3% to 19,246.03, while the Shanghai Composite shed 0.5% to 3,244.49.

Clifford Bennett, chief economist at ACY Securities, called the export data out of China "rather alarming," noting it was the sharpest decline in three years and reflected global economic challenges, not just in China.

"Global demand is falling precipitously," he said.

"It is now very likely we will all be surprised by just how intense this global economic slowdown becomes. The three major economies of the world -- U.S., China and the EU -- are leading the downward charge."

In the U.S., bank stocks fell after Moody's cut the credit ratings for 10 smaller and midsized ones and put six others under review. It cited a list of concerns about their financial strength, from the effects of higher interest rates to the work-from-home trend that's leaving office buildings vacant.

The Federal Reserve has hiked its main interest rate to the highest level in more than two decades in hopes of grinding down inflation. High rates work by slowing the entire economy bluntly, which has raised the risk of a recession.

Later this week, the U.S. government will release data on consumer and wholesale inflation, which could influence what the Federal Reserve does next with interest rates.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude added 21 cents to $83.13 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 16 cents to $86.33 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar fell to 143.24 Japanese yen from 143.36 yen. The euro cost $1.0982, up from $1.0960.