BANGKOK (AP) – Global stocks were mixed on Wednesday as traders waited for the results of the latest Federal Reserve meeting of this year.
Benchmarks rose in Paris, Tokyo and Frankfurt, but fell in Hong Kong and Shanghai after the US Department of Labor said wholesale prices jumped a record 9.6% in November by compared to the previous year.
Fed policymakers on Wednesday ended a two-day meeting in which they are expected to speed up the withdrawal of economic stimulus to help contain inflation.
China reported that its retail sales slowed in November as the country sought to quell outbreaks of the coronavirus.
Virus remains a global concern, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen say omicron will likely be the dominant variant of the coronavirus in the bloc of 27 countries by mid-January. The head of the EU’s executive branch said the bloc was well prepared to tackle omicron with 66.6% of the European population now fully vaccinated against the virus.
The German DAX rose 0.4% to 15,520.92 and the CAC 40 in Paris climbed 0.7% to 6,941.03. The UK FTSE 100 lost 0.2% to 7,204.90. Dow industrials futures and the S&P 500 were up 0.1%, while the 10-year Treasury yield was flat at 1.44%.
In Asian trading, the Tokyo Nikkei 225 index rose 0.1% to 28,459.72 and Seoul’s Kospi rose 0.1% to 2,989.39. In Sydney, the S & P / ASX 200 lost 0.7% to 7,327.10.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.9% to 23,420.76, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.4% to 3,647.63.
China reported that its retail sales slowed in November, increasing 3.9% from the previous year, from a 4.9% increase in October. Industrial production recovered slightly, increasing 3.8% from the previous year, from 3.5% in October.
“COVID-19 remained the main reason preventing a full recovery. Efforts to contain the virus surge from mid-October lasted most of November, with infections reaching 21 provinces, making consumers more cautious, ”Capital Economics’ Mark Williams and Sheana Yue said in a report. remark.
A second omicron One confirmed case was reported in China on Wednesday, underscoring the continuing threat of infections as new variants of the coronavirus emerge.
On Tuesday, the S&P 500 Index fell 0.7% to 4,634.09. It hit an all-time high on Friday, when it closed its biggest weekly gain since February. The index is up 23.4% since the start of the year.
The Dow Jones fell 0.3% to 35,544.18. The Nasdaq fell 1.1% to 15,237.64. The Russell 2000 lost 1% to 2,159.65.
Companies have faced supply chain issues and higher costs for months and pass those costs on to consumers, who have so far absorbed higher prices on everything from groceries to clothing and other consumer products. The Labor Department said on Friday that consumer prices jumped 6.8% for the 12 months ending in November, the biggest increase in 39 years.
Discouraging inflation reports predated the Federal Reserve Encounter which started on Tuesday.
The Fed is expected to reduce its bond purchases more quickly, which has helped to keep interest rates low and support the stock market and the economy in general. Beyond that, investors are watching the central bank for any statements on how quickly it could raise interest rates in 2022.
Wall Street is also keeping a close eye on any news on the omicron variant. It appears to cause less severe illness than previous versions of the coronavirus, according to an analysis of data from South Africa, but has spread quickly. Pfizer’s vaccine appears to offer less defense against infection but still offers good protection against hospitalization.
Energy stocks fell on the back of a 0.8% drop in the price of US crude oil. US crude fell 60 cents to $ 69.13 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, the basis of international pricing, fell 48 cents to $ 72.22 a barrel.
The US dollar slipped to 113.69 Japanese yen from 113.73 yen. The euro strengthened to $ 1.1271 from $ 1.1259.
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