Global stocks are mixed before US Fed release

BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets were mixed yesterday as investors looked ahead to a speech by the Federal Reserve chairman for signs of possible plans for more United States (US) interest rate cuts.

Market benchmarks in London and Frankfurt rose in early trading. Tokyo and Australia closed lower and Shanghai was little changed.

US stocks fell on Tuesday after a slide in bond yields and a mixed batch of corporate earnings. Financial sector stocks led the declines.

Investors looked ahead to the Fed’s release yesterday of notes from its policymaking meeting last month and a speech on Friday by Chairman Jerome Powell.

Markets have “entered a holding pattern” ahead of Powell’s speech at an annual gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a report.

A woman walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo. PHOTO: AP

Investors expect Powell to signal the Fed “is about to embark on a reinvigorated wave of easing,” said Halley. However, he said US data “simply does not support the need for an aggressive easing cycle.”

London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.7 per cent in early trading to 7,177.20 and Frankfurt’s DAX climbed 0.7 per cent to 11,729.41. France’s CAC-40 jumped one per cent to 5,401.05.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.3 per cent to 20,618.57. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng inched up 0.2 per cent to 26,270.04. The Shanghai Composite Index was little changed at 2,880.33.

Seoul’s Kospi gained 0.2 per cent to 1,964.65 while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 fell 0.9 per cent to 6,483.30. India’s Sensex lost 0.6 per cent to 37,114.28.

Taiwan was higher and New Zealand was lower, while Southeast Asian markets were mixed.

On Wall Street, the futures for the S&P 500 index rose 0.6 per cent and futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.5 per cent.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 index snapped a three-day winning streak and fell 0.8 per cent to 2,900.51. The Dow Jones average slid 0.7 per cent to 25,962.44. The Nasdaq composite dropped 0.7 per cent to 7,948.56.

The US market has been volatile this month as investors try to parse conflicting signals on the US economy and determine whether a recession is on the horizon. A key concern is that the US-Chinese tariff war will weigh on global economic growth.

Some chipmakers rose on Monday’s news the Trump administration is delaying enforcement of export curbs on US technology sales to Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies Ltd Qualcomm added 1.6 per cent.

Last week, many stock indexes around the world hit their lowest points of the year before rallying. Analysts say the concerns that drove that sell-off could resurface at any time.

ENERGY: Benchmark US crude gained 12 cents to USD56.25 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract shed one cent on Tuesday to close at USD56.13. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 33 cents to USD60.36 per barrel in London. The contract advanced 27 cents the previous session to USD60.03.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 106.51 yen from Tuesday’s 106.22. The euro was lower at USD1.1095.