Global Shares Trade Mixed Despite Wall Street's Record Rally

TOKYO (AP) -- Global shares were mixed in muted trading Wednesday as optimism set off by a record rally on Wall Street gradually ran out of momentum.

France's CAC 40 edged up nearly 0.1% in early trading to 8,095.34, while Germany's DAX was little changed, up less than 0.1% at 17,973.04. Britain's FTSE 100 stood virtually unchanged at 7,746.72.

Shares in the United States were set to be little changed with Dow futures hovering at 39,471.00. S&P 500 futures declined less than 0.1% to 5,176.25.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.2% to 7,729.40 and South Korea's Kospi gained 0.4% to 2,693.57. But Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost its morning gains to finish at 38,695.97, slipping 0.3%.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged down nearly 0.1% to 17,082.11, while the Shanghai Composite dipped 0.4% to 3,043.83.

"The yen has been a notable gainer verses the greenback, with attention focused on the upcoming spring wage negotiations known as 'shunto,' as the outcome of this could impact the Bank of Japan's preference for when to end their policy of negative interest rates," said Tim Waterer, chief market analyst at KCM Trade.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar rose slightly to 147.78 Japanese yen from 147.63 yen. The euro cost $1.0933, inching up from $1.0930.

Speculation is rife that Japan's central bank is getting ready to end its super-easy monetary policy -- which set interest rates below zero -- and start raising rates.

"Economic data has further validated the BoJ's stance, with markets witnessing higher-than-expected Japan's wage growth for January, while Japan's economy managed to skirt a technical recession in its updated fourth quarter gross domestic product," said Yeap Jun Rong, market analyst at IG.

In the U.S., recent inflation figures were close to expectations, and traders held on to hopes that the longer-term trend downward means the Federal Reserve will begin rate cuts in June. The Fed's main interest rate is at its highest level since 2001.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude added 22 cents to $78.78 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 25 cents to $82.17 a barrel.