Global Benchmarks are Trading Mixed as Investors Focus on Earnings

TOKYO (AP) -- World shares were trading mixed Thursday as investors awaited a flood of global earnings reports, including updates from U.S. tech companies known as the "Magnificent Seven."

France's CAC 40 lost 0.3% in early trading to 8,067.62, while Germany's DAX dipped 0.4% to 18,008.84. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.7% to 8,098.24. U.S. shares were set to drift lower with the Dow future down 0.3% at 38,577.00. The S&P 500 future declined 0.5% to 5,081.25.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slid 2.2% to 37,628.48. South Korea's Kospi dropped 1.8% to 2,628.62. But Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.5% to 17,284.54, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.3% to 3,052.90.

Markets were closed in Australia for a national holiday, Anzac Day.

Attention is also turning to the Bank of Japan, whose two-day monetary policy meeting started Thursday.

"For the record, heading into tomorrow's policy decision, exceptional Japanese yen weakness is the agitated elephant in the room for the BOJ," Tan Jing Yi of Mizuho Bank said in a commentary.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar rose to 155.64 Japanese yen from 155.31 yen. The euro cost $1.0730, up from $1.0697.

The yen has been trading at 155 yen-levels lately, its lowest level in 34 years. That helps Japanese exporters by raising the value of their overseas earnings, but it also raises the price of imports.

Speculation has been growing Japan may intervene to prop up the yen. But opinion is divided if and when that might happen.

Chris Turner, global head of research at ING Economics, said the dollar's trading above 155 yen was at a level many had expected to trigger an intervention in the market, but conditions weren't sufficient.

"The sufficiency has to come from market conditions and one can argue we are not there yet," Turner said, pointing to recent trading volatility.

Tesla is the first among the group of stocks called the Magnificent Seven to report its results for the start of 2024. Those stocks they drove most of the U.S. stock market's gain last year, and they'll need to perform to justify their high prices.

The hope is that profit growth will broaden beyond the Magnificent Seven to other types of companies, in large part because of a remarkably solid U.S. economy. They'll likely need to deliver fatter profits if they want their stock prices to rise. That's because they're unlikely to get much help from the other lever that can lift stock prices: interest rates.

In energy trading early Thursday, benchmark U.S. crude added 38 cents to $83.19 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 43 cents to $88.45 a barrel.