Global Shares Rise With Eyes on Prices, War in the Middle East

TOKYO (AP) -- Global shares mostly rose Thursday as investors awaited the release of U.S. consumer price data and kept a cautious watch on the war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

France's CAC 40 added 0.4% in early trading to 7,161.62. Germany's DAX rose 0.5% to 15,541.01, while Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.7% to 7,672.18. The futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up 0.2%.

Markets have been mostly struggling since the summer as longer-term yields shoot higher in the U.S. bond market, weighing on prices for all kinds of investments. Some relief has come this week, and yields have eased after officials at the Federal Reserve suggested they may be done raising their main overnight interest rate.

A report on U.S. consumer prices is due later Thursday, a day after a report on wholesale inflation came in hotter than expected. Economists said that may not be enough to force the Fed to raise its main interest rate again.

Forecasts suggest consumer inflation eased again last month, though the decline might have slowed since summer, a reminder that the outsize price pressures of the past two years will take more time to cool.

Minutes from the Fed's meeting last month suggested officials see the outlook for the U.S. economy as particularly uncertain. They said they were ready to "proceed carefully" in deciding what to do next with rates.

"Recent remarks from FOMC members have leaned dovish, suggesting that the Fed might maintain current short-term rates," Anderson Alves at ActivTrades said in a report, referring to the U.S. Federal Reserve's action on interest rates.

Tensions in the Middle East also are under the spotlight, he said. As air strikes devastated Gaza, Israel said was preparing for possible ground assault.

In Asian trading, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 1.8% to finish at 32,494.66. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 inched up less than 0.1% to 7,091.00. South Korea's Kospi added 1.2% to 2,479.82. Hong Kong's Hang Seng surged 1.9% to 18,238.21, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.9% to 3,107.90.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 rose 0.4% and the Dow industrials added 0.2%. The Nasdaq composite gained 0.7%.

Oil prices have given back much of their strong gains from earlier this week, triggered by fighting in Gaza. Though the area doesn't produce much oil, the worry is that the violence could spill into the politics around the crude market and hurt the flow of petroleum.

On Thursday, benchmark U.S. crude rose 72 cents to $84.21 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It slumped $2.48 to settle at $83.49 on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, added 95 cents to $86.77 per barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar rose to 149.10 Japanese yen from 149.07 yen. The euro cost $1.0627, little changed from $1.0626.