European shares were on course for a fifth day of gains on Tuesday, as the optimism of investors is spreading around the western world ahead of Fed’s FOMC meeting. The stocks of the retail and basic resources enterprises are performing particularly strong. However, main indexes in the Asia-Pacific ended mostly with slight declines amid global economic growth worries.
A major topic of today’s market focus is the forthcoming meeting of the US Federal Open Market Committee, and it is expected tomorrow evening its governor, Jerome Powell, to announce in a statement to the media the US central bank’s decision on interest rates and monetary policy course.
The investors expect to see whether the Fed will lower its target benchmark interest rate and what new measures will be taken to curb the bond portfolio at a total of about 3.8 trillion USD.
Asian markets recap
Most Asian stock indexes ended today’s trading session into the red just hours before the start of a two-day meeting of US Federal Reserve.
In China, the continental index Shanghai Composite wiped out 0.18% of its value, ending the day at 3,090.98 points. The Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng reported growth of 0.06% to 29,427.81 points. Shares of technology giant Tencent fell by 0.49%, while China Mobile rose by 0.91%.
In Japan, the blue-chip index Nikkei 225 declined by 0.08% to 21,566.85 points. The shares of Fast Retailing registered a decrease of 0.2%. The shares of car manufacturers Toyota Motor and Honda Motor grew by 0.45% and 0.47%, respectively.
South Korean index Kospi wiped out 0.09% of its value, ending the session at 2,177.62 points. Shares of Posco and Korea Electric Power Corp fell by 0.71% and 2.02%, respectively. One of the main topics for investors during the trading session was in the automotive sector. South Korean Hyundai together with Kia provided 300 million USD investment in the Indian shared travel company Ola. Despite this news, Hyundai’s shares ended the session without any change in value.
In Australia, S&P ASX 200 declined by 0.09% to 6,184.80 points. Mining company BHP Billiton rose by 1.73% and Westpac creditor added 0.21%.
European stocks mid-session recap
The pan-European benchmark STOXX 600 is trading with an increase of 0.74% at 11:20 GMT, hitting a five-month peak in what would be its longest winning streak since mid-September.
German index DAX 30 rose by 0.9%, or 104.5 points, to 11,761.58 points at mid-session trading on Tuesday. The stocks of the financial services company Allianz are up by 0.5%, while those of the industrial giant Siemens are increasing by 1.4%. Among the best performers today are BASF and Bayer, which are appreciating by 1.25% and 1.4%. On the opposite is Deutsche Bank, which wiped out 1.8% of its market value.
French stocks are also inching higher on Tuesday with CAC 40 rising by 0.5% to 5,439.55 points at 11:20 GMT. The stocks of aircraft manufacturer Airbus is up by 0.9%, while retailer Carrefour is up by 0.5%. The building materials manufacturer LafargeHolcim is also among the best performers today with an increase of almost 1%. The financial companies are not performing strong enough amid raising threats for another loosening of the US and European monetary policy. Thus, BNP Paribas is trading with a slight increase of 0.15%, while Credit Agricole and Societe Generale are down by 0.4% and 0.6%, respectively.
Britain’s FTSE 100 continued its winning streak as oil majors and miners boosted the index and Ocado climbed to a life high after posting higher first-quarter retail sales. The FTSE 100 was up 0.62% to 7,344.32 points at mid-session on Tuesday. The index held on to its five-month high and rose for the seventh straight session, it’s the longest streak of gains since May 2017. Online supermarket Ocado, added 3.7% to hit an all-time high after posting a double-digit jump in first-quarter retail sales despite growth being hit by last month’s fire at a large distribution center.
Wall Street stocks pre-session recap
Wall Street stock index futures traded higher on Tuesday, broadly supported on expectations the Federal Reserve could strike a dovish tone at its latest monetary-policy meeting.
At around 7:30 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a gain of 115 points at the open. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite also rose.
The Fed is set to kick off its two-day policy meeting later in the day. Market expectations for a rate hike are at zero, with most investors pricing in no change in policy. However, investors will look for clues on the Fed’s economic outlook.
On the data front, January factory orders numbers are due at 10 a.m. ET.