World Shares Mixed on Wednesday 01/27 05:57
Stocks are mixed in Europe and Asia as markets focus on the Federal Reserve
policy meeting that ends Wednesday.
(AP) -- Stocks are mixed in Europe and Asia as markets focus on the Federal
Reserve policy meeting that ends Wednesday.
Shares advanced in Paris and Tokyo but fell in London and Hong Kong.
The Fed is expected to keep its extremely supportive policy stance unchanged
given the slow progress in vanquishing the pandemic, analysts said.
Markets have meandered since last week as investors weighed solid corporate
earnings results against renewed worries that troubles with COVID-19 vaccine
rollouts and the spread of new variants of coronavirus might delay a recovery
from the pandemic.
With the virus spreading like "wildfire" in parts of the world, the first
half of the year might be "lost," Stephen Innes of Axi said in a commentary. "
Some are even concerned that vaccines may not prove useful enough to eradicate
the virus. And these concerns will continue to linger over markets like a dark
cloud until vaccine distributions get ironed out, and a definitive drop in
contagion levels can thoroughly support the vaccine efficacy results."
The reality that President Joe Biden's $1.9 billion stimulus package won't
be "rubber stamped" by the U.S. Senate is also weighing on sentiment, Jeffrey
Halley of Oanda said in a report.
For now, "ranging is a summation of the state of play in the financial
markets at the moment," he said.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index added 0.3% to 28,635.21, while the Hang Seng in
Hong Kong slipped 0.3% to 29,297.53. The Kospi in South Korea sank 0.6% to
3,122.56, while the Shanghai Composite index edged 0.1% higher to 3,573.34. In
Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.7% to 6,780.60.
Overnight, the S&P 500 lost 0.1% to 3,849.62 but was within 0.2% of the
record high it set Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.1%, to
30,937.04. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite also slid 0.1%, to 13,626.06. The
Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 0.6%, to 2,149.86.
This is the busiest week so far of quarterly earnings reporting season for
More than 100 companies in the S&P 500 are scheduled to tell investors this
week how they fared during the last three months of 2020. As a whole, analysts
expect S&P 500 companies to say their fourth-quarter profit fell 5% from a year
earlier. That's a milder drop than the 9.4% they were forecasting earlier this
month, according to FactSet.
The fate of Biden's plan to send $1,400 to most Americans and deliver other
support for the economy remains uncertain given the slim majority of the
Democrats in the Senate. But on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
said Democrats are prepared to push ahead with the relief package, even if it
means using procedural tools to pass the legislation without Republicans.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury edged lower to 1.03% from 1.04% late
In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 29 cents to $52.90 per
barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gave up 16
cents to $52.61 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard,
added 32 cents to $55.96 per barrel.
The U.S. dollar was trading at 103.79 Japanese yen, up from 103.62 yen late
Tuesday. The euro slipped to $1.2122 from $1.2163.