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Global Stocks Mixed                    02/20 05:44

   Global shares were mixed Thursday, while the Shanghai benchmark jumped 1.8% 
after China's central bank cut interest rates to help ease credit for companies 
stricken by a virus outbreak centered on the Chinese city of Wuhan. 

   TOKYO (AP) -- Global shares were mixed Thursday, while the Shanghai 
benchmark jumped 1.8% after China's central bank cut interest rates to help 
ease credit for companies stricken by a virus outbreak centered on the Chinese 
city of Wuhan. 

   France's CAC 40 edged down nearly 0.1% in early trading to 6,105.81. 
Germany's DAX fell 0.2% to 13,759.70, while Britain's FTSE 100 edged up less 
than 0.1% to 7,462.54. U.S. shares were steady, with Dow futures down 0.1% at 
29,309.00. S&P 500 futures fell 0.1% to 3,383.60. 

   China's central bank cut its one-year loan prime rate to 4.05% from 4.15% on 
Thursday, a move aimed at mitigating the economic damage from the COVID-19 
sickness that is spreading mostly in China. The 5-year loan prime rate was cut 
to 4.75% from 4.80%. A medium-term rate was cut earlier in the week, raising 
hopes for further monetary stimulus.

   "Despite continued news on the virus, the market remains sanguine as Chinese 
officials continue their efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the 
economy," RaboResearch said in a statement. 

   For now, at least, investors seem to be confident that China's central bank, 
the Federal Reserve and other central banks can prop up the economy. 

   Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.3% to finish at 23,479.15, shedding 
bigger early gains. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3% to 7,162.50. and the 
Shanghai Composite index picked up 1.8% to 3,030.15. But South Korea's Kospi 
lost 0.7% to 2,195.50. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped 0.2% to 27,609.16, while 
India's Sensex was little changed at 41,330.57. 

   Overnight, U.S. stocks shook off their latest virus-induced losses, 
breaching new record highs. 

   Technology stocks led the rally, as Apple recovered most of its loss from 
the day before. It dropped Tuesday after warning that revenue this quarter 
would fall short of forecasts due to the viral outbreak centered in China. 

   Low rates have been a key underpinning for the strong U.S. stock market, 
which has rallied even though growth in corporate profits has been weak. The 
Fed released minutes Wednesday afternoon from its last policy meeting, where 
officials said they see the current level of monetary policy "as likely to 
remain appropriate for a time," at least until data on the economy shows a 
change in momentum. 

   ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil added21 cents to $53.70a barrel in electronic 
trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It jumped $1.20 to $53.49 
overnight. Brent crude oil, the international standard,was unchanged at $59.12 
a barrel. 

   CURRENCIES: The dollar edged up to111.72Japanese yen from 110.34 yen on 
Wednesday. The euro weakened slightly to$1.0790from $1.0805.


(CZ)

 
 
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