BEIJING – Global stock markets were mixed Monday after Wall Street ended May with a gain and Japan's factory output grew less than expected.
London opened higher while Frankfurt retreated. Tokyo declined while Shanghai and Hong Kong gained.
Wall Street futures were higher. U.S. markets were closed for a holiday.
Investors are wavering between optimism about consumer spending and factory output reviving and unease that rising inflation might prompt governments and central banks to withdraw stimulus.
“It still feels like a market looking for direction in the face of uncertainty,” said Patrik Schowitz of JP Morgan Asset Management in a report.
In early trading, London's FTSE 100 was down less than 0.1% at 7,022.61. The DAX in Frankfurt fell 0.2% to 15,485.89 while the CAC 40 in Paris gained less than 0.1% to 6,487.25.
On Wall Street, futures for the benchmark S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were up less than 0.1%.
On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 0.1% to end May with a monthly gain of 0.5% after bumpy weeks of selling as investors watched the conflict between economic recovery and rising inflation pressures.
The Dow added 0.2% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.1%.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4% to 3,615.48 after an industry group and the national statistics agency reported manufacturing activity held steady in May, adding to signs a rebound is leveling off.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo tumbled 1% to 28,860.08 after May retail sales fell 4.5% from the previous month. May factory output rose above pre-pandemic levels for the first time but 2.5% growth was lower than expected.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose less than 0.1% to 29,151.80 while the Kospi in Seoul rose 0.5% to 3,203.92. The S&P-ASX 200 in Sydney was off 0.2% at 7,161.60.
India's Sensex advanced 1% to 51.965.87. New Zealand, Bangkok and Jakarta gained while Singapore retreated.
The U.S. Commerce Department said personal consumption expenditures, a measure of inflation used by the Federal Reserve, rose by 3.6% in April. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, inflation was 3.1%, well above the Fed’s long-term target of 2%.
Fed officials said earlier the economy would be allowed to “run hot” to make sure a recovery is established, but investors worry about unexpectedly sharp rises in prices of consumer goods and some commodities. They have been at least temporarily reassured by comments from Fed officials that it is too early to change direction.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 68 cents to $67.00 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 43 cents on Friday to $66.32 per barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 66 cents to $69.38 per barrel in London. It gained 17 cents the previous session to $69.63.
The dollar declined to 109.70 Japanese yen from Friday’s 109.81 yen. The euro edged down to $1.2189 from $1.2197.