Global shares mixed after another Wall Street tech selloff

TOKYO — Global shares were mixed Friday following a selloff of technology shares on Wall Street.

France’s CAC 40 edged less than 0.1% higher in early trading to 5,026.78, while Germany’s DAX was down 0.1% at 13,195.47. Britain’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.1% to 6,011.11. U.S. shares were set to drift higher with Dow futures at 27,708.50, up 0.6%. S&P 500 futures were up 0.9% to 3,369.38.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 recouped early losses to rise 0.7% and finish at 23,406.49. South Korea’s Kospi was little changed at 2,396.69, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.8% to 5,859.40. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.8% to 24,503.31, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.8% to 3,260.35.

Analysts say investors are preoccupied with the coronavirus pandemic and hopes for development of a safe, effective vaccine.

While Big Tech is benefiting from the shift to online life that the pandemic and ensuing stay-at-home economy has accelerated, critics said their stocks prices have surged too high.

“Big tech stocks might have seemed like safe havens, but they have found themselves at the centre of a brutal sell-off,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at AxiCorp.

The catch is that progress in curbing COVID-19 could hurt technology shares, Innes said.

“But keep your eye on the prize. A virus vaccine is a key to the second leg of growth recovery, which will be globally-co-ordinated and could run for a while as doses are distributed gradually,” he said.

The latest gyrations on Wall Street followed a wild stretch where the S&P 500 careened from its worst three-day slump since June to its best day in nearly three months.

The selling came as the odds lengthen that Congress will deliver more aid to the economy before November’s elections, support that many investors say is crucial after federal unemployment benefits and other stimulus expired. Partisan disagreements on Capitol Hill have kept Congress at a seeming impasse.

Japan and the U.K. agreed on a comprehensive economic partnership after talks Friday “in principle,” but a deal was not signed, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry. The talks have been ongoing as Japan has a widespread trade deal with the European Union, which Britain left in January.

The British economy recouped further lost ground during July after a swath of coronavirus restrictions on businesses were lifted, according to government data released Friday. The Office for National Statistics said the British economy grew by a monthly rate of 6.6% as many sectors started reopening.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 2 cents to $37.32 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the international standard, fell 6 cents to $40.00 a barrel.

The U.S. dollar inched up to 106.18 Japanese yen from 106.15 yen late Thursday. The euro rose to $1.1850 from $1.1816.