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Tuesday 18

December, 2018 1:34 AM



Global stocks stable ahead of Fed meeting

Global stocks stable ahead of Fed meeting

Global stock markets finished little changed on Tuesday as dealers tracked soaring oil prices...

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26.09.2018 08:25 AM

Global stock markets finished little changed on Tuesday as dealers tracked soaring oil prices, trade worries and corporate news flow on the eve of the US Federal Reserve's latest interest rate call.

Wall Street finished mixed after a choppy session, while Paris and Frankfurt edged higher. But London climbed nearly 0.7 percent thanks to strong gains by energy shares.

Asian bourses mostly rose in muted deals with Hong Kong and Seoul remaining shut for public holidays.

"Investors continue to keep a weather eye on the trade war situation," said IG analyst Chris Beauchamp.

"But even without any further meaningful headlines on this front, the upcoming Fed meeting...means that most are content to await developments rather than rushing in to try and join in the general bounce in equities seen over the past week."

Analysts view the Fed as almost certain to lift interest rates again on Wednesday but are watching for the US central bank's outline of additional interest rate hikes down the road.

"Maybe we're at the moment where the Fed will be thinking about pausing because there is some question about the medium-term outlook," said Isabelle Mateos y Lago, global macro strategist at BlackRock Investment Institute.

Others think the Fed is unlikely to signal a change in the pace of interest rate increases but that this could change in the near term, as policymakers take a more hawkish view of economic trends.

Oil boost

Brent oil rebounded, finishing up 67 cents per barrel at $81.87, on worries over stretched global supplies due to US sanctions on Iran.

"Brent crude hit a level not seen since late 2014 and that underlines how bullish the sentiment is," said market analyst David Madden at CMC Markets UK.

Energy firms enjoyed big gains on this week's surge in oil prices, after the world's top producers agreed to maintain output despite pressure from US President Donald Trump.

Trump, in a combative appearance at the United Nations Tuesday, called for Iran's international isolation, prompting accusations from his Iranian counterpart that Trump was trying to topple the Iranian government.

Shares in BP climbed nearly 3 percent, while those in Shell rose 2.4 percent in London. In Paris, shares in Total added 1.3 percent. Most leading US petroleum-linked stocks also rose, including Schlumberger, which won 1.5 percent.

Next please

In London, shares in clothing retail chain Next soared almost 10 percent, despite a warning over the risks of port delays and increased tariffs from a possible no-deal Brexit. They closed with a gain of 7.8 percent.

The group also insisted that the direct risks of a no-deal scenario did not pose a "material threat to the ongoing operations and profitability of Next's business."

Investors focused on positive news that Next upped its full-year profits outlook after a bright first half.

Michael Kors Holdings rose two percent after announcing it was buying Italian fashion house Versace for $2.1 billion and saying it would rename itself Capri Holdings.

Key figures around 2015 GMT

New York - Dow Jones: DOWN 0.3 percent at 26,492.21 points (close)

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.1 percent at 2,915.56 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 0.2 percent at 8,007.47 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.7 percent at 7,507.56 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.2 percent at 12,374.66 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.1 percent at 5,479.10 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.3 percent at 3,419.78 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.3 percent at 23,940.26 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.6 percent at 2,781.14 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: Closed for a holiday

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1767 from $1.1748 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3181 from $1.3120

Dollar/yen: UP at 112.96 yen from 112.80 yen

Oil - Brent Crude: UP 67 cents at $81.87 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 20 cents at $72.08 per barrel
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