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Global shares mixed amid vaccine optimism, US technology sell-off

Global markets were mixed Tuesday after a sell-off of shares in technology companies on Wall Street

Global Markets | Global economic recovery | Markets

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were mixed Tuesday after a sell-off of shares in technology companies on Wall Street.

France's CAC 40 edged 0.3per cent higher in early trading to 5,782.75, while Germany's DAX was little changed, up less than 0.1per cent at 13,953.13. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.5per cent to 6,646.83. U.S. shares were set for gains, with Dow futures up 0.3per cent at 31,548. S&P 500 futures rose 0.2per cent to 3,882.88.

Tokyo was closed for a national holiday. South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.3per cent to 3,070.09. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.9per cent to 6,839.20. Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.0per cent to 30,632.64, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.2per cent to 3,636.36.

The technology sell-off spilled into Asia. Chinese cell phone maker Xiaomi fell 3.1per cent, e-commerce giant Alibaba lost 1.2per cent and Taiwan computer chip maker declined 1.4per cent.

Although the world's economies have been battered by the coronavirus pandemic, the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines is raising hopes for a recovery.

Thankfully, for society at large, there is more optimism than fear today, with vaccines showing scientific results on the ground that validate efficacy and effectiveness over transmission, leading the world back to normality starting soon, said Stephen Innes, chief strategist at Axi.

Stocks began shedding some of their gains last week after a strong start to February as rising interest rates and the potential for inflation down the road dampened some of Wall Street's enthusiasm, though the major stock indexes remain near their all-time highs.

Investors remain focused on the future of global economies badly hit by COVID-19 and the potential for more stimulus to fix them. The U.S. House of Representatives is likely to vote on President Joe Biden's proposed stimulus package by the end of the week.

It would include USD1,400 checks to most Americans, additional payments for children, and billions of dollars in aid to state and local governments as well as additional aid to businesses impacted by the pandemic.

But the large amount of stimulus being pumped into the economy has given some investors pause, reviving worries about inflation that have been nearly nonexistent for more than a decade.

Yields on U.S. Treasury bonds and notes have risen in the last several weeks as investors bet the recovery will bring more inflation.

Tech stocks have thrived throughout the pandemic, as investors bet that consumers spending more time at home would increasingly rely on mobile devices, PCs, video streaming and other technology products and services.

In energy trading, U.S. benchmark crude rose USD1 to USD62.70 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

It gained USD2.44 to USD61.70 per barrel on Monday. Brent crude, the standard, rose USD1.08 to USD65.44.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar climbed to 105.21 Japanese yen from 105.08 yen. The euro cost USD1.2158, up from USD1.2157.

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First Published: Tue, February 23 2021. 16:34 IST