World Shares are Mostly Higher Ahead of a US Report on Inflation

BEIJING (AP) -- Shares were mostly higher in Europe and Asia on Tuesday ahead of a report on inflation in the U.S. that could sway the Federal Reserve's timing on cutting interest rates.

In early European trading, Germany's DAX picked up 0.2% to 17,789.05 and the CAC 40 in Paris edged 0.1% higher to 8,025.97.

Britain's FTSE 100 rallied 0.8% to 7,728.21. The future for the S&P 500 gained 0.3% while that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was nearly unchanged.

In Asian trading, Japan's Nikkei 225 lost less than 0.1% to 38,797.51, retreating further from its recent record highs as expectations build that the central bank will raise its negative benchmark interest rate next month.

That speculation has pushed the Japanese yen higher against the U.S. dollar. Early Tuesday, the dollar was trading at 147.35 yen, up from 146.95 yen. Recently the dollar was trading at about 150 yen.

Chinese markets were mixed, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng up 3.1% at 17,093.50, led by property developers and technology companies.

Financially challenged developer Country Garden's shares jumped 5.2%. China Evergrande, which is struggling to repay debts amounting to over $300 billion, jumped nearly 28%, and Sunac China Holding added 8.3%.

Online food delivery company Meituan surged 4.7% and e-commerce company jumped 7.9%.

The Shanghai Composite index retreated, losing 0.4% to 3,055.94.

Elsewhere in Asia, the S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.1% higher to 7,712.50. South Korea's Kospi advanced 0.8% to 2,681.81.

On Monday, the S&P 500 slipped 0.1% but remained near its all-time high set Thursday.

Prices have been buoyed by expectations that cuts to interest rates are coming this year and by signals that the economy remains remarkably resilient.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.4%.

Tuesday's report on prices Americans pay could show inflation remained at 3.1% in February, if economists' forecasts are correct.

A month ago, a hotter-than-expected report on inflation at the consumer level sent financial markets spinning.

But the trend for inflation has been mostly downward, cooling toward the Fed's 2% target from its peak above 9%. Fed Chair Jerome Powell Jerome Powell said last week the Fed is "not far" from getting enough confidence about inflation to begin cutting rates. Cuts to the Fed's main interest rate, which is at its highest level since 2001, would relax pressure on the economy and financial system, while goosing investment prices.

The general expectation among traders is that the Fed will begin cutting rates in June.

Expectations for easier interest rates have helped the price of gold rally to a record. When bonds pay less in interest, investors lose out on less income by owning gold instead. Gold for delivery in April ticked up by $3.10 to settle at $2,188.60 per ounce. Gold prices are up about 17% over the last 12 months.

Bitcoin, which proponents sometimes pitch as "digital gold," also rallied to another record. It was trading at about $72,000 after sitting below $17,000 at the start of last year. It's more than bounced back from its prior prior peak of nearly $69,000.

Reddit said it may raise up to $748 million through the sale of stock to investors on an exchange for the first time. The social media company expects its stock to trade under the "RDDT" ticker symbol.

In other trading early Tuesday, U.S. benchmark crude oil was up 50 cents at $78.43 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 8 cents to $77.93 per barrel on Monday.

Brent crude, the international standard, added 56 cents to $82.77 per barrel.

The euro fell to $1.0925 from $1.0927.