Global stocks end 2 days of losses, growth woes temper gains

AP and AFP

SEOUL/HONG KONG–Global stock markets snapped two days of declines Wednesday but gains were tempered by worries about the plunge in oil prices and renewed doubts about Greece’s membership of the euro currency bloc.

In early trading, Germany’s DAX was up 0.5 percent at 9,513.94 and France’s CAC-40 rose 0.6 percent to 4,109.04. Britain’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.5 percent to 6,400.38. Wall Street looked set to recoup some of its earlier losses. Dow futures were up 0.3 percent at 17,346 and S&P 500 futures added 0.4 percent to 2,001.90.

The Federal Reserve releases minutes from its December interest-rate meeting later in the day. After last month’s meeting, the Fed said it will be ��patient�� in deciding when to raise interest rates. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index finished in positive territory Wednesday on bargain buying after several days of losses, with Sony rallying more than four percent on news its North Korea satire ��The Interview�� was now its best-grossing online film ever. The benchmark Nikkei at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which dropped more than 3.0 percent on Tuesday, edged up 2.14 points to close at 16,885.33. The broader Topix index of all first-section shares finished down 0.10 percent, or 1.34 points, at 1,359.80. Sony soared 4.63 percent to 2,552.5 yen after it said ��The Interview�� has made more than US$31 million on the Internet and other small-screen formats, its best-grossing online film ever. The film hit headlines last month when the Sony’s film studio was hit by a hacking attack, which U.S. authorities blamed on North Korea. Toyota rose 1.46 percent to 7,407.0 yen, while Nissan added 0.49 percent to 1,005.5 yen after its chief executive Carlos Ghosn said global car demand would likely rise between two and three percent this year.