Global stocks lower amid British political turmoil

BANGKOK: Global stock markets declined Thursday as the British prime minister faced demands to quit and Japan reported its 14th straight monthly trade deficit.
London and Frankfurt opened lower and Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong declined. Oil rose more than $1 per barrel.
British Prime Minister Liz Truss faced demands to resign following chaotic scenes in Parliament during a vote on a fracking ban. Truss has been defiant despite financial market turmoil caused by multiple policy U-turns.
Truss “precipitated this political crisis by triggering the market crisis,” said Michael Every of Rabobank in a report. Britain is “deep in an emerging-market rut.”
In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London was off 0.2% at 6,914.12 and the DAX in Frankfurt fell 0.7% to 12,655.08. The CAC 40 in Paris was little-changed at 6,041.18.
On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark S&P 500 index was off 0.3%. That for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up less than 0.1%.
On Wednesday, the S&P fell 0.7%, breaking two days of gains. The Dow slipped 0.3% and the Nasdaq composite sank 0.9%.
In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo tumbled 0.9% to 27,006.96 after September imports ballooned 46% over a year earlier due to a surging oil prices and a weak yen. The Japanese currency is trading at a 32-year low against the dollar.
The yen weakened to 149.82 to the dollar from Wednesday’s 149.81 yen.
The dollar has gained against other currencies following repeated interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, which increases the return on assets valued in dollars. Investors also see the U.S. currency as a stable haven amid global uncertainty.
“Rising U.S. yields and the strong U.S. dollar are the sledgehammers pounding global equities lower,” said Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management in a report.
The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3% to 3,035.05 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 1.4% to 16,280.22.
The Kospi in Seoul retreated 0.9% to 2,218.09 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 sank 1% to 6,730.70.
On Wednesday, Wall Street pulled back as investors reviewed earnings and Treasury yields climbed to multiyear highs.
Netflix soared 13% and United Airlines rose 5% after releasing quarterly results. Abbott Laboratories, M&T Bank and others sank.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which influences mortgage rates, climbed to 4.13%, its highest level since June 2008. It was at 4.02% late Tuesday.
The yield on the two-year Treasury, which responds to expectations of future Fed action, rose to 4.54% from 4.43%.
The Fed and central banks in Europe and Asia have been raising interest rates to cool inflation that is at multi-decade highs. Investors worry they might tip the global economy into recession.
Inflation in Britain hit a 40-year high of 10.1% over a year earlier in September.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.56 to $86.08 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trading, advanced $1.34 to $93.75 per barrel in London.
The euro gained to 97.83 cents from Wednesday’s 97.68 cents.

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