Policy: Economy

World market gains capped by earnings caution

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News,Business,Economy

MUMBAI, India (AP) — World stocks were sluggish on Wednesday, as optimism in Chinese markets was offset by caution over more disappointing U.S. earnings.

The Shanghai Composite jumped 2.2 percent to 2,147.14 after the central bank promised to provide extra liquidity to the financial system to offset concerns over a slowdown in growth.

Technology stocks were weighed down, however, after IBM and chipmaker AMD reported lower-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter.

In Europe, Germany's DAX stock index fell 0.1 percent to close at 9,720.11 while the CAC-40 in France ended flat at 4,324.98.

Britain's FTSE 100 dropped 0.1 percent to 6,826.33 after a report showed unemployment was falling faster toward a level where the Bank of England might consider raising interest rates.

Wall Street lacked momentum as well, with the Dow falling 0.2 percent to 16,377.10 and the broader S&P 500 rising 0.1 percent to 1,845.05.

Earlier, Japan's Nikkei, Asia's heavyweight index, gained 0.2 percent to 15,820.96 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.2 percent to 23,082.25. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.3 percent at 1,970.42 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.2 percent to 5,319.80. India's Sensex added 0.2 percent.

Benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery was up 92 cents at $94.88 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In currencies, the euro fell to $1.3546 from $1.3561 late Tuesday. The dollar rose to 104.41 yen from 104.29 yen.

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