World shares were mostly lower on Monday after stocks rallied to records on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing above the 35,000 level Friday for the first time. Britain's FTSE 100 lost 0.4 per cent to 6,998.08 and Germany's DAX declined 0.7 per cent to 15,567.11.
In Paris, the CAC 40 lost 0.6 per cent to 6,526.86. The future for the Dow industrials slipped 0.6 per cent while the contract for the S&P 500 shed 0.4 per cent to 4,385.70.
Investors are awaiting a meeting of the Federal Reserve this week for indications of future policy as new outbreaks of coronavirus threaten the US and global recoveries from the fresh news of regulatory moves against Chinese IT and education industry companies pulled shares lower in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
In Japan, preliminary factory and service activity surveys showed a slowdown linked to recent tightening of pandemic precautions due to surging coronavirus cases. The flash purchasing managers index for the services sector fell to 46.5 in July from 48 in June, on a scale of 1-100 where 50 marks the break between expansion and contraction.
Manufacturing remained in expansion, but fell to 50.5 from 50.7 in June, said the au Jibun Bank survey.
It said new export orders declined, possibly reflecting supply bottlenecks. Output fell at the fastest pace in six months. "Short-term disruption to activity is likely to continue until the latest wave of COVID-19 infections passes and restrictions enacted under the state of emergency laws are lifted," Usamah Bhatti, economist at IHS Markit, said in a report.
Nonetheless, Tokyo's Nikkei 225, tracking Wall Street's strong finish on Friday, gained 1 per cent to 27,833.29. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was unchanged at 7,394.30, while the Kospi in Seoul declined 0.9 per cent to 3,224.95. Hong Kong's Hang Seng sank 4.1 per cent to 26,192.32 after Chinese regulators said they were further tightening restrictions on technology companies, requiring a "rectification" of misleading pop-up windows and other practices by software applications, or apps. The Shanghai Composite index dropped 2.3 per cent to 3,467.44.
On Friday, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all finished with gains of better than 1 per cent for the week. They each returned to records after brushing aside the sharp downturn that trimmed 1.6 per cent off the S&P 500 on July 19.
The market has rebounded as big companies reported better profits than expected and as investors once again saw any dip in stocks as merely a chance to buy low. The S&P 500 index climbed 1 per cent to 4,411.79. The Dow rose 0.7 per cent to 35,061.55 and the Nasdaq composite gained 1 per cent to 14,836.99. Despite a rebound in new coronavirus cases, the US economy has been recovering at a torrid pace, with the question being how much growth will slow in upcoming months and years.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury was steady at 1.26 per cent on Monday. It has dropped from a perch of roughly 1.75 per cent in late March, reflecting alarm over rising inflation. With roughly a quarter of all the profit reports in from S&P 500 companies, nearly 90 per cent have topped Wall Street's already high expectations for the spring. Companies in the index are on pace to report roughly 74 per cent growth for earnings in the second quarter from a year earlier, according to FactSet.
That would be the strongest growth since the economy was exploding out of the Great Recession at the end of 2009. In other trading, US benchmark crude oil lost 62 cents to USD 71.45 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It picked up 16 cents to USD 72.07 on Friday. Brent crude, the international pricing benchmark, declined 45 cents to USD 73.65 per barrel. The US dollar weakened to 110.32 Japanese yen from 110.51 yen. The euro rose to USD 1.1792 from USD 1.1776.