Global shares mixed as investors await central bank moves

Global shares are mixed amid cautious trading ahead of a meeting of the Federal Reserve

TOKYO — Global shares were mixed Tuesday amid cautious trading ahead of a policy meeting by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

France’s CAC 40 rose 0.2% to 6,904.57, while Germany’s DAX gained 0.2% to 15,837.55. Britain’s FTSE 100 dipped 0.5% to 7,254.78. The future for the Dow industrials inched less than 0.1% lower to 35,786.00. The contract for the S&P 500 also was little changed, slipping less than 0.1% to 4,604.00.

With inflation in the U.S. at its highest point in three decades, the U.S. Federal Reserve is set this week to begin winding down the extraordinary stimulus it has given the economy since the pandemic recession struck early last year, a process that could prove a risky balancing act.

Chair Jerome Powell has signaled the Fed will announce after its policy meeting Wednesday that it will start paring its $120 billion in monthly bond purchases as soon as this month. Those purchases are intended to keep long-term loan rates low to encourage borrowing and spending.

In Asian trading, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.4% to finish at 29,520.90. South Korea’s Kospi surged 1.2% to 3,013.49. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.2% to 25,099.67, while the Shanghai Composite shed 1.1% to 3,505.63.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.6% to 7,324.30 after the Reserve Bank of Australia kept its key interest change unchanged at a record low 0.1% but indicated it was preparing to cut back some of its economic support measures.

Shares have gained as investors took heart from better-than-expected corporate earnings despite concerns over the impact supply chain disruptions and higher inflation are having on companies.

More than half of the companies in the benchmark S&P 500 index have already reported results. Analysts expect overall profit growth of 36% by the time reporting is finished. Another 167 companies within the index are reporting their results this week.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will report its results on Tuesday and CVS Health’s earnings update comes on Wednesday.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude fell 9 cents to $83.96 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 48 cents to $84.05 on Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 15 cents to $84.86 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar fell to 113.66 Japanese yen from 113.98 yen. The euro cost $1.1604, inching down from $1.1607.

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