Asia mostly down, Europe mixed on global growth worries
Global shares were mixed Wednesday, with European indexes mostly higher and Asian markets posting moderate declines. Oil prices bounced back from overnight losses.
KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 was nearly flat at 4,338.81, while Germany’s DAX added 0.2 percent to 10,403.18. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent to 6,684.08. U.S. shares were set to drift higher with Dow futures flat and S&P 500 futures up 0.1 percent at 2,123.60.
FED FACTOR: Markets are on the lookout for what the Federal Reserve might do on interest rates, weighing various signs of possible economic recovery. Economists say December is the most likely time for the Fed to hike rates for the first time this year.
THE QUOTE: “The Federal Reserve blackout period is now upon us, giving traders a week to speculate on the impact of what has been said and the few pieces of data we get between now and the decision next Wednesday,” Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note. “While a hawkish consensus does appear to be building among the committee, the absence of some key policy makers from this makes a hike at the meeting next week very unlikely.”
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.7 percent to close at 16,614.24. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.1 percent at 23,183.44. The Shanghai Composite fell 0.7 percent to 3,002.85. India’s Sensex rose 0.04 percent to 28,364.31, while shares were lower in Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan. South Korean markets were closed for a national holiday.
ENERGY: Benchmark crude rose 35 cents to $45.25 a barrel. It fell $1.39, or 3 percent, to $44.90 a barrel in New York on Tuesday. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, rose 35 cents to $47.45 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 103.20 yen from 101.98 yen late Tuesday in Asia. The euro fell to $1.1226 from $1.1233.