Shanghai, Frankfurt, Tokyo, and Hong Kong advanced. London opened lower.
Wall Street rose after President Joe Biden announced Tuesday the government will provide rapid-test kits and increase vaccination efforts but gave no indication of plans for restrictions that might disrupt the economy. Other governments in Asia and Europe have tightened travel controls or pushed back plans to relax curbs already in place.
In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London was off 0.2 percent at 7,286.79 while Frankfurt’s DAX added 1.4 percent to 15,447.44. The CAC 40 in Paris rose 1.4 percent to 6,964.99.
On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark S&P 500 index was off less than 0.1 percent. That for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up less than 0.1 percent.
On Tuesday, the S&P 500 rose 1.8 percent, putting it within 1.4 percent of its Dec. 10 all-time high. The Dow gained 1.6 percent and the Nasdaq composite gained 2.4 percent.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index closed up less than 0.1 percent at 3,628.31 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.1 percent to 28,548.80. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 1 percent to 23,204.27.
The Kospi in Seoul added 0.2 percent to 2,980.69 while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.1 percent to 7,345.30.
India’s Sensex advanced 0.9 percent to 56,319.01. New Zealand declined while Southeast Asian markets advanced.
Traders were rattled by official statements that omicron was spreading faster than expected after airline, cruise line, oil, and other travel-related stocks had risen earlier on expectations tighter controls could be avoided.
Sentiments also have been dampened by expectations for tighter U.S. monetary policy after the Federal Reserve indicated last week it will accelerate plans to wind down economic stimulus that has been boosting stock prices. The Fed changed course after inflation rose to a four-decade high of 6.8 percent in November.
Traders also are worried about the impact of global supply chain disruptions that are fueling fears of higher inflation.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude climbed 50 cents to $71.62 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $2.89 on Tuesday to $71.12. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, advanced 48 cents to $74.46 per barrel in London. It gained $2.46 the previous session to $73.98.
The dollar slipped to 114.06 yen from Tuesday’s 114.12 yen. The euro fell to $1.1275 from $1.1282.
By Joe McDonald