Global shares meandered Monday as market attention turned to the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later in the week. Japanese shares languished as the yen strengthened against the dollar.
KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 edged down nearly 0.2 percent in early trading to 5,110.17. Germany’s DAX was also lower at 12,208.73, down 0.3 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.5 percent to 7,415.02. U.S. shares were also set to drift lower, with Dow futures slipping 0.1 percent to 21,498.00. S&P 500 futures fell 0.2 percent to 2,465.60.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.6 percent to finish at 19,975.67. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.6 percent to 5,688.10. But South Korea’s Kospi inched up nearly 0.1 percent to 2,451.53. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.5 percent to 26,8406.83 while the Shanghai Composite index gained 0.4 percent to 3,250.60. India’s Sensex added 0.7 percent to 32,259.28, while shares in Southeast Asia were mixed.
FED FACTOR: The monetary policymaking body of the Federal Reserve wraps up two days of meetings Wednesday. At June’s meeting, Fed officials raised the central bank’s key interest rate for the third time in six months. The Fed also announced plans to start gradually paring its bond holdings later this year, a move that could cause long-term rates to rise. Over the last few weeks, investors have focused what the European Central Bank will do as the European economy continues to improve.
U.S. POLITICS: A flurry of tweets from U.S. President Donald Trump, complaining that Republicans were failing to fully support him as they struggle to deliver on health care legislation, underscored the disarray in Washington amid investigations into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible connections to Trump’s campaign.
THE QUOTE: “Investors continued to take into account Trump’s political setbacks including expanded investigation into his transactions regarding his Russian connections and limited progress in the health care bill. The resignation of White House Press Secretary Spicer over the weekend might further fuel USD weakness,” says Zhu Huani, Singapore Treasury Division of Mizuho Bank, of the U.S. political uncertainties.
JAPAN MANUFACTURING: A preliminary survey of factory purchasing managers showed output slowing as export orders fell to an 11-month low of 50 — the cutoff between contraction and expansion on a scale of 100. Output dropped for the second straight month.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 6 cents to $45.72 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It sank $1.15 to $45.77 a barrel on Friday. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, fell 27 cents to $48.04 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The euro rose to $1.1646 from $1.1639. The dollar slid to 110.77 yen from 111.55 yen late Friday in Asia.
Frontpage October 24, 2019