Global shares mostly fell Wednesday but Japan’s benchmark finished slightly higher after a muted market response to the U.S.-North Korean summit. Investors have now turned their eyes to this week’s three central bank meetings.
KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 was up 0.2 percent in early trading at 5,465.88. Germany’s DAX fell 0.2 percent to 12,817.53 and Britain’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.1 percent to 7,694.42. U.S. shares were set to be mixed with Dow futures flat at 25,311 and S&P 500 futures up 0.1 percent at 2,790.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 was up 0.4 percent at 22,966.38. South Korea’s Kospi fell less than 0.1 percent to 2,468.83. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.2 percent to 30,725.15, while the Shanghai Composite index dropped 1.0 percent to 3,049.80. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.5 percent to 6,023.50.
TRUMP-KIM SUMMIT: U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un concluded their summit Tuesday by committing to working “toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” and to “build a lasting and stable peace regime” there. Trump surprised both the Pentagon and the South Korean military by promising to end U.S. military exercises with South Korea. Details were left vague, but progress there has the chance of lowering geopolitical tensions in a region that includes three of the world’s largest economies: Japan, China and South Korea.
CENTRAL BANKS: The U.S. Federal Reserve was to resume a two-day meeting on interest rates later Wednesday. Investors expect the central bank to raise its benchmark rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a range of 1.75-2 percent. However, investors’ attention will focus more on how many additional rate hikes Fed officials may do this year. On Thursday, the European Central Bank will meet and could outline an end to its stimulus program, while on Friday the Bank of Japan is due to give its latest policy update.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “Fed are the ones that could surprise on the hawkish side which should support a stronger U.S. dollar vs. EUR, AUD and JPY,” said Stephen Innes, analyst at Oanda.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 6 cents to $66.30 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 21 cents to $75.67 per barrel in London.
CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 110.63 yen from 110.30 late Tuesday in Asia. The euro fell slightly to $1.17 from $1.18.
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