Global stocks mixed as central banks hold off on rate cuts


European markets opened higher on Thursday after a mixed day of thin trading in Asia after U.S. markets were closed in observance of Juneteenth.

In London, the FTSE 100 gained 0.2% to 8,218.75, as investors focused on a Bank of England policy rate decision due later in the day. The central bank was expected to keep its main interest rate at a 16-year high of 5.25%, even after data released Wednesday showed that British inflation fell to the central bank's 2% target in May, for the first time in nearly three years.

Germany's DAX rose 0.6% to 18,180.98, and the CAC 40 in Paris added 0.6% to 7,612.35.

The Swiss National Bank lowered its main policy rate by a quarter of a percentage point, citing a drop in "underlying inflationary pressure" despite an uptick in some costs like rents, tourism services and oil products. The reduction to 1.25%, from 1.5%, will take effect on Friday, the SNB said in a statement,

Ahead of the reopening of U.S. markets, the future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was little changed while that for the S&P 500 rose 0.4%.

In Asian trading, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index gained 0.2% to 38,633.02.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 0.5% to 18,335.32. The Hang Seng tech index retreated 1.7%, after jumping 3.7% on Wednesday, tracking Nvidia's advance. The Shanghai Composite index dropped 0.4% to 3,005.44.

The Chinese yuan was trading at its lowest level this year, with the central parity rate set at 7.1192 yuan to the U.S. dollar, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System.

The central parity rate is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the interbank market opens each business day. Downward pressure on the yuan is a factor complicating China's efforts to use monetary policy to spur lackluster growth in the world's second-largest economy.

The Chinese central bank kept its one-year lending benchmark rate unchanged at 3.45% and the five-year loan prime rate at 3.95% on Thursday. The one-year loan prime rate serves as a benchmark for most corporate and household loans, while the five-year rate is used as a peg for real estate mortgages.

Meanwhile, markets were digesting comments from People's Bank of China Gov. Pan Gongsheng, who told a financial forum in Shanghai that China will keep its monetary policies accommodative to support the economy. Comments by Pan and other Chinese officials about reforming and improving Chinese markets appeared to have little impact on share prices.

In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 was little changed at 7,769.40, while South Korea's Kospi added 0.4% to 2,807.63.

Elsewhere, Taiwan's Taiex gained 0.9%, while Bangkok's SET fell 0.5%.

Also Thursday, Indonesia's central bank kept its benchmark rate steady at 6.25%. Indonesia's currency, like many in Asia, has weakened against the dollar, slowing moves by its central bank to cut rates, S&P Global Market Intelligence said in a report.

In other dealings, U.S. benchmark crude oil fell 12 cents to $80.59 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude added 8 cents to $85.15 per barrel.

The dollar rose to 158.42 Japanese yen from 158.10 yen. The euro slipped to $1.0721 from $1.0745.

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