Global Shares Mostly Fall Over China Worries

TOKYO (AP) -- Global shares were mostly lower Thursday in subdued trading on looming worries about China property woes.

France's CAC 40 shed 0.3% to 7,050.19 in early trading. Germany's DAX slipped 0.4% to 15,164.02. Britain's FTSE 100 edged down 0.6% to 7,544.91. U.S. shares were set to drift lower with Dow futures down nearly 0.1% at 33,759.00. S&P 500 futures was virtually unchanged at 4,313.00.

Trading in shares of heavily indebted Chinese property developer China Evergrande Group was suspended in Hong Kong. That followed media reports that the chairman of Evergrande, Hui Ka Yan, had been taken away earlier this month and placed under police watch.

Evergrande is the world's most heavily indebted real estate developer and is at the center of a property market crisis that is dragging on China's economic growth.

"The relatively quiet economic calendar today may lead sentiments on a more subdued tone, while reservations on risk taking may continue to revolve around developments on China's property sector," said Yeap Jun Rong, market analyst at IG.

The Hang Seng index slid 1.4% to 17,373.03. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.1% to 3,110.48.

Trading was closed in South Korea for a holiday. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 dropped 1.5% to 31,872.52. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 slipped nearly 0.1% to 7,024.80.

After more than a decade in which the Federal Reserve would quickly cut rates in order to help the economy, still-high inflation is now discouraging the Fed from lowering rates. Its main interest rate is already at its highest level since 2001, and the Fed indicated last week it will cut rates in 2024 by less than earlier expected.

A long list of worries is also tugging at financial markets. The most immediate is the threat of another U.S. government shutdown as Capitol Hill threatens a stalemate that could shut off federal services across the country as soon as this weekend.

Stock prices have managed through past shutdowns relatively well, but conditions may be a little different this time.

Several highly influential reports are supposed to come in the coming weeks. The next monthly jobs report is due on Oct. 6, and two big inflation reports are due the following week.

Other threats looming over Wall Street include shaky economies around the world, a strike by U.S. auto workers that could put more upward pressure on inflation and a resumption of U.S. student-loan repayments that could dent spending by households.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude slipped 3 cents to $93.65 a barrel. It rallied $3.29 to settle at $93.68 per barrel Wednesday, up from less than $70 in June. It's threatening to top $100 again for the first time since the summer of 2022. Brent crude, the international standard, was unchanged at $96.55.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar fell to 149.37 Japanese yen from 149.63 yen. The euro cost $1.0518, up from $1.0509.