Global Stocks Fall Ahead of Fed Meeting
Global stocks fell Tuesday as investors looked ahead to the conclusion of the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting on Wednesday.
The Stoxx Europe 600 was down 0.6% in early trade after U.S. stock markets mostly fell Monday on lower oil prices.
Expectations that the Fed will keep interest rates lower for longer have pushed bourses higher in recent weeks.
While the Fed is widely expected to leave short-term rates near zero Wednesday, its statement will be carefully parsed for clues about future action.
Investors in Europe also considered the latest round of third-quarter company earnings reports. Shares in BASF SE fell 4.6% after the German chemicals giant cut its outlook for 2015 Tuesday, while Novartis AG was down 2.7% after the Swiss pharmaceuticals company said quarterly profit fell 42% from the same period last year. Shares in British oil giant
BP PLC were up 1.3% despite reporting that earnings in the third quarter nearly halved compared with a year earlier.
In Asian trade, the Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.1% after falling as much as 2.8% earlier in the session. Investors are looking ahead to the outcome of China’s five-year economic planning meeting this week. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.9%.
In currencies, the dollar was down 0.6% against the yen at ¥ 120.3640 as investors considered the prospect of further monetary easing from the Bank of Japan at its meeting on Friday.
The euro was flat against the dollar at $1.1054, while the British pound was also flat against the buck ahead of the release of the latest growth figures for the U.K. economy Tuesday.
Ahead, U.S. data releases will come into focus with reports on durable goods orders and consumer confidence due later Tuesday.
Ford Motor Co., Comcast Corp and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. are scheduled to report earnings, with releases from Apple Inc. and Twitter Inc. due after markets close.
In commodities, Brent crude was down 0.9% at $47.14 a barrel. Gold was flat at $1166.00 a troy ounce.