World shares advance ahead of an update on US consumer prices

A person wearing a protective mask walks in front of an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm Friday, March 3, 2023, in Tokyo. Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher Friday after a Federal Reserve official raised hopes the U.S. central bank might not step up its anti-inflation fight as much as feared. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares rose in Europe and Asia on Wednesday, ahead of an update on U.S. inflation that investors hope will show a smaller increase in pain for everyone.

Germany’s DAX picked up 0.8% to 15,921.12 and the CAC 40 in Paris also rose 0.8%, to 7,278.85. Britain’s FTSE 100 jumped 1.1% to 7,361.14. The future for the S&P 500 was up 0.2% while the contract for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1%. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 rose 0.7%, the Dow gained 0.9% and the Nasdaq composite added 0.5% to 13,760.70.

The Bank of England warned Wednesday that households are facing increasing problems from sharply rising interest rates but expressed hope that the country’s biggest banks were resilient enough to offer more help than they could before the global financial crisis 15 years ago.

Later Wednesday the U.S. government will report inflation at the consumer level. Economists expect to see another slowdown, with prices 3.1% higher in June than a year earlier, down from inflation of 4% in May and just above 9% last summer.

The hope on Wall Street is that a continued easing in inflation will convince the Federal Reserve to stop its hikes to interest rates soon. High rates have helped pull down inflation, but they’ve also caused cracks in the banking, manufacturing and other industries while also hurting prices for stocks and other investments.

However many analysts expect further rate hikes.

“It would take something remarkable from the inflation report today to convince policymakers that they can afford to pause again,” Craig Erlam of Oanda said in a commentary. A strong jobs report on Friday was “nowhere near good enough to convince the Fed that it has achieved its objectives,” he said.

In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 dropped 0.8% to 31,943.93 after North Korea launched a long-range ballistic missile toward its eastern waters Wednesday, two days after the North threatened “shocking” consequences to protest what it called provocative U.S. reconnaissance activity near its territory.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index surged 1.1% to 18,860.95 and the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia added 0.4% to 7,135.70. In Seoul, the Kospi rose 0.5% to 2,574.72.

The Shanghai Composite index sank 0.8% to 3,196.13. Shares rose in Taiwan but fell in India.

Bangkok’s SET index fell 0.4% after Thailand’s state Election Commission said the top candidate to become the country’s next prime minister, Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat, may have violated the election law. It referred his case to the Constitutional Court. The decision Pita could be suspended from his duties as a Member of Parliament pending a ruling bit does not rule out Parliament nominating him to become prime minister.

Later in the week, companies will begin telling investors how much profit they made during the spring, and expectations are largely dim. Analysts are forecasting the sharpest drop in earnings per share for S&P 500 companies since the pandemic was crushing the global economy in the spring of 2020.

In other trading Wednesday, benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 28 cents to $75.11 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained $1.84 on Tuesday. Brent crude oil, the price basis for international trading, was up 22 cents at $79.62 a barrel.

The dollar fell to 139.65 Japanese yen from 140.36 yen. The euro rose to $1.1024 from $1.1006.