Associated Press


Currency traders watch monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. Asian shares mostly rose Thursday as investors welcomed encouraging economic data and quarterly earnings reports from big companies.

AP/Ahn Young-joon

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Global shares were mostly higher Thursday as investors welcomed encouraging economic data and quarterly earnings reports from big companies.

European shares mostly headed higher in early trading. Benchmarks advanced in Asia as jitters eased over U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. The gains followed a strong rally on Wall Street.

France’s CAC 40 PX1, +1.67% added 0.5% in early trading to 6,501.54, while Germany’s DAX DAX, +1.42% gained 0.7% to 13,688.05. Britain’s FTSE 100 UKX, +1.66% fell 0.3% to 7,426.95. The future for the Dow industrials YM00, +0.86% inched up less than 0.1% while that for the S&P 500 ES00, +0.95% also was little changed, up by less than 0.1%.

Analysts said geopolitical risks remained after Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in defiance of Beijing, with China conducting military exercises near the self-ruled island that it claims as its own territory.

“Despite the easing in immediate concerns, investors will be looking out for any potential escalation in U.S.-China tensions, with any economic sanctions from China likely to negatively affect risk sentiment and positioning in Asian markets,” said Anderson Alves of ActivTrades.

Alves said investors are also watching U.S. nonfarm payrolls, due Friday, for indications on hiring, and how that might affect interest rate policy. But overall, Pelosi’s trip so far has had little impact on markets. She was visiting Seoul on Thursday and would then head to Japan.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 NIK, +0.53% added 0.7% to finish at 27,932.20. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost earlier gains, shedding just 1 point to 6,974.90. South Korea’s Kospi 180721, +0.33% added 0.5% to 2,473.11. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, +2.69% rose 2.1% to 20,174.04, while the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.82% climbed 0.8% to 3,189.04.

India’s Sensex 1, +0.18% lost 0.6% and the Taiex Y9999, +1.20% in Taiwan also fell 0.5%.

Earnings remain in focus this week as investors parse the latest results and statements from companies to better understand how inflation is affecting businesses and consumers.

Oil prices rose following OPEC’s decision to boost production in September at a much slower pace than previous months. Benchmark U.S. crude CL00, +1.84% added 50 cents to $91.16 a barrel. On Wednesday, U.S. crude oil fell 4% to settle at $90.66 per barrel. Brent crude BRNV22, -2.83% , the international standard, added 29 cents to $97.07 a barrel.

Upcoming data on the U.S. jobs market could help investors determine how the Federal Reserve will move ahead with its interest rate policy, which has been aggressive in an effort to try and tame inflation. U.S. jobless claims numbers for last week will be released Thursday.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar edged up to 134.24 Japanese yen USDJPY, -1.74% from 133.85 yen. The euro EURUSD, +0.79% cost $1.0166, little changed from $1.0170.