World Stocks Mostly Lower After Hot US Inflation Data Foils Rate Cut Hopes

BANGKOK (AP) -- Shares in Europe and Asia were mostly lower on Thursday after U.S. stocks fell following another release of hotter than expected inflation data.

Germany's DAX fell 0.4% to 18,022.81 and the CAC 40 in Paris was unchanged at 8,046.18. In London, the FTSE 100 gave up 0.2% to 7,948.35.

The futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were 0.2% lower.

South Korean shares were little changed after the ruling conservative party suffered a crushing defeat in a parliamentary election. The Kospi edged less than 0.1% higher, to 2,706.96.

The results were a huge political blow to President Yoon Suk Yeol, and Prime Minster Han Duck-soo and all Yoon's senior presidential advisers except those in charge of security issues submitted their resignations Thursday.

China reported its consumer inflation edged 0.1% higher in March, while prices paid by manufacturers, the producer price index, fell 2.8% from a year earlier. The data suggest persisting deflationary pressures due to slack demand as property developers, banks and local governments struggle with high debt levels.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 0.4% to 39,442.63 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong edged 0.1% lower, to 17,118.27.

The Shanghai Composite index gained 0.2% to 3,032.01 and the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.4% to 7,813.60.

Bangkok's SET lost 0.3% and Taiwan's Taiex was down 0.1%.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 dropped 0.9%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.1% and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.8%.

The past three months have shown higher than expected inflation.

For shoppers, that's painful because of the potential for even higher prices at the store. For Wall Street, it raises fears that the Federal Reserve will hold back on delivering the cuts to interest rates that traders are craving and have been betting on.

The Fed has been waiting for more evidence to show inflation is heading sustainably down toward its goal of 2%. After an encouraging cooling last year, the fear now is that inflation may be stuck after January's, February's and March's inflation reports all came in hotter than expected, along with data on the economy generally.

Prices for everything from bonds to gold fell immediately after the morning's release of the inflation data.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury jumped to 4.54% from 4.36% late Tuesday and is back to where it was in November. The two-year yield, which moves more on expectations for Fed action, shot even higher and rose to 4.97% from 4.74%.

Traders sharply cut back on bets that the Fed could begin cutting rates in June. At the start of the year, they were forecasting six or more cuts through 2024.

High interest rates work to undercut inflation by slowing the economy and hurting investment prices. The fear is that rates left too high for too long can cause a recession.

Wall Street's biggest losers on Wednesday included real-estate investment trusts, utility companies and other stocks that tend to get hurt most by high interest rates.

In other trading early Thursday, U.S. benchmark crude oil fell 27 cents to $85.94 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, the international standard, declined 22 cents to $90.26 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar fell to 153.15 Japanese yen from 153.17 yen, trading near a 34-year high. The yen has weakened on expectations that the gap between interest rates in Japan, which are near zero, and those in the U.S. will remain wide for the foreseeable future.

The euro fell to $1.0730 from $1.0746.