Global stocks flat as investors await Fed meeting results

Dado Ruvic  Illustration  File

Dado Ruvic Illustration File

Under Yellen, who took office in 2014, it has raised interest rates four times from near-zero, ended its bond buying programme, and now set a path to reducing its huge holdings.

The Fed's preferred measure of price inflation increased by just 1.4 percent during the 12 months ending in July, the most recent available data.

While an interest rate increase is not expected, investors will closely watch Fed Chair Janet Yellen's views on inflation, which remains stuck below the Fed's 2-percent target rate.

USA benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields rose as far as 2.29 percent, the highest since August 8., a move which helped push bank stock prices higher also.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent to 3,363.91 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.9 percent to 28,065.35. Gross domestic product is now expected to grow at a rate of 2.4 percent this year, 2.1 percent next year and 2.0 percent in 2019. But others are more concerned about financial market risks that could build up if rates remain low too long. Income-seeking investors find those stocks less appealing when bond yields move higher.

Rising bond yields make non-yielding assets such as bullion less attractive.

Crude oil prices were unsteady, but stayed near last week's multimonth highs.

The 10-year yield on Monday touched a almost three-year high at 2.119 per cent. The stock was the biggest loser on the consumer discretionary index .SPLRCD Tesla was down more than 2.3 percent after Jefferies started coverage of the electric vehicle maker's stock with "underperform".

The U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday but signaled it still expects one more increase by the end of the year despite a recent bout of low inflation. Technology and financial companies were down the most.

BEYOND DISAPPOINTED: Shares in Bed Bath and Beyond plunged 15.6 percent after the home goods retailer reported that its latest quarterly sales at stores open at least a year, a key metric for retailers, fell short of analysts' forecasts. While the Nasdaq is down 19.90 points or 0.3% at 6,441.43, the Dow is up 16.92 points or 0.1% at 22,387.72 and the S&P 500 is up 0.23 points or less than a tenth of a % at 2,506.88.

The double-whammy of Irma and Harvey could shave as much as 0.5 percent off of US GDP in the third quarter, as businesses are disrupted, energy prices rise and hiring weakens. Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 5/32 in price to yield 2.2463 percent, up from 2.23 percent late on Monday.

The US Dollar retreated today ahead of a heavily awaited interest rate decision and its plans to reduce its balance sheet. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 55 cents to $55.69 per barrel in London.

Market breadth was in the favour of gainers, with about 2 stocks advancing to every 1 stock that declined.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan stood little changed.

The stronger dollar against the yen buoyed exporters on Tokyo's Nikkei, with the index up 1.5 percent by the break as traders also returned from a three-day break to play catch-up with Monday's global rally.

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