Global Shares are Mostly Lower as Investors Pin Hopes on Rate Cuts

TOKYO (AP) -- Global shares were trading mixed on Monday, as investors awaited further indications the Federal Reserve might begin cutting interest rates.

France's CAC 40 was virtually unchanged in early trading at 8,151.94, while Germany's DAX edged up 0.1% to 18,227.53. Britain's FTSE 100 was little changed, inching down less than 0.1% to 7,929.84.

The futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were 0.1% lower.

Japan's Nikkei 225 shed 1.2% to finish at 40,414.12, as investors sold shares to lock in profits after the benchmark recently hit record highs.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.2% to 16,473.64, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.7% to 3,026.31.

China's currency, the yuan, was set at a rate of 7.0996 against the U.S. dollar. The official "central parity rate," is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the interbank market opens each business day. It is allowed to rise or fall only by 2% each trading day.

The yuan had weakened to more than 7.2282 to the dollar on Friday, falling to a four-month low, as the dollar gained against other currencies. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.5% to 7,811.90. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.4% to 2,737.57.

A top Japanese finance official expressed reservations about the recent surge in the U.S. dollar against the Japanese yen, fueling speculation about possible intervention in the market. The dollar has risen to nearly 152 yen, a jump from slightly above 130 yen a year ago. It was trading at 151.32 yen on Monday, down from 151.41 yen. The euro cost $1.0823, up from $1.0810.

The Bank of Japan raised a key interest rate for the first time in 17 years last week, to barely above zero from below zero, or negative interest rates. That means borrowing rates in Japan still remain below those of the U.S. and many other nations.

"The recent Bank of Japan meeting added another layer of complexity to the dollar's trajectory. Despite the BOJ's decision to hike rates, cautious communication failed to stimulate demand for the Japanese yen," said Luca Santos, currency analyst ACY Securities.

On Friday, the S&P 500 slipped 0.1% from an all-time high, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.8%. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.2%, setting another record.

The U.S. Federal Reserve has indicated it may deliver three cuts to interest rates this year, as long as inflation keeps cooling. The Fed's main interest rate is at its highest level since 2001.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude added 45 cents to $81.08 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 48 cents to $85.91 a barrel.