Stock market today: Global shares mostly advance ahead of U.S. inflation report

TOKYO — Global shares gained Friday as traders looked ahead to a key report on inflation that could influence the Federal Reserve’s next move on interest rates.

France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.4% in early trading to 7,503.63, while Germany’s DAX added 0.6% to 18,312.62. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.4% to 8,210.54. The future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up nearly 0.1% and that for the S&P 500 rose 0.3%.

In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.6% to finish at 39,583.08. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.1% to 7,767.50. South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.5% higher to 2,797.82. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was little changed, inching up less than 0.1% to 17,718.61, while the Shanghai Composite surged 0.7% to 2,967.40.

In Japan, the government reported industrial production was stronger than forecast in May at 2.8% and the unemployment rate was unchanged from the previous month at 2.6%.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 edged up 0.1% and the Nasdaq composite added 0.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1%.

The U.S. stock market has been listless this week in the lead up to Friday’s release of the next influential inflation report from the government. The personal consumption expenditures index, or PCE, is the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation.

Economists expect the report to show a modest easing of inflation to 2.6% in May, following a 2.7% reading in April. That’s down from the PCE’s peak of 7.1% in the middle of 2022. Other measures of inflation, including the consumer price index, have also eased significantly over the last two years.

The latest updates on inflation could influence the central bank’s decision on when to begin cutting interest rates, which remain at their highest level in more than 20 years and which are having an impact worldwide. Wall Street is betting that the central bank will start cutting interest rates at its September meeting.

An update from the government said the American economy expanded at a 1.4% annual pace from January through March. The figure is a slight revision from a prior estimate of 1.3%. It marks the slowest quarterly growth since spring 2022.

A slowdown in consumer spending could help further ease inflation, but too much of a slowdown could result in a more painful hit to the economy. The Federal Reserve is trying to time its efforts tame inflation back to its 2% target without slowing the economy so much that it slips into a recession.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude rose 81 cents to $82.55 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, added 77 cents to $86.03 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar fell to 160.73 Japanese yen from 160.77 yen. The euro cost $1.0710, up from $1.0704.

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