Stock market today: World stocks are mixed ahead of this week’s Fed meeting

Jun 11, 2024

FILE – A person looks at an electronic stock board at a securities firm in Tokyo, on May 27, 2024. Asian stocks were mixed on Tuesday, June 11, in a busy week with several top-tier reports on U.S. inflation due along with a policy meeting of the Federal Reserve. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

HONG KONG – World shares were mixed on Tuesday in a busy week that will bring several top-tier reports on U.S. inflation along with a policy meeting of the Federal Reserve.

The future for the S&P 500 shed 0.1% and that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.2%.

Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.3% to 8,205.05 in early trading after government data showed the jobs market is cooling. The unemployment rate from February to April rose to 4.4%, the highest level since September 2021.

The CAC 40 in Paris was little changed at 7,891.65 and Germany’s DAX shed 0.1% to 18,476.01.

In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index gained 0.3% to 39,134.79 as investors awaited the outcome of a meeting of the Bank of Japan. The central bank raised its benchmark interest rate in March to a range of 0 to 0.1% from minus 0.1%, in its first such increase in 17 years.

Analysts said markets were leaning toward two rate hikes by the end of this year, with broad expectations of further rate increases as soon as July.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sank 1% to 18,176.34, and the Shanghai Composite lost 0.8% to 3,028.05 after reopening from a public holiday. Markets remained cautious ahead of a report on inflation in China due out Wednesday.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 1.3% to 7,755.40. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.2% to 2,705.32.

On Monday, the S&P 500 rose 0.3% to 5,360.79, topping its all-time high set last week. The Nasdaq composite also set a record after rising 0.3% to 17,192.53, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2% to 38,868.04.

Data on the economy have come in mixed recently, and traders are hoping for a slowdown that stops short of a recession and is just right in magnitude. A cooldown would put less upward pressure on inflation, which could encourage the Federal Reserve to cut its main interest rate from its most punishing level in more than two decades.

Companies benefiting from the AI boom are continuing to report big growth almost regardless of what the economy and interest rates are doing.

Nvidia, for example, is worth roughly $3 trillion and rose 0.7% Monday after reversing an early-morning loss. It was the first day of trading for the company since a 10-for-one stock split made its share price more affordable to investors, after it ballooned to more than $1,000 amid the AI frenzy.

Treasury yields were mixed in the bond market ahead of reports later in the week that will show whether inflation improved last month at both the consumer and wholesale levels.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will announce its latest decision on interest rates. Virtually no one expects it to move its main interest rate then. But policy makers will be publishing their latest forecasts for where they see interest rates and the economy heading in the future.

The last time Fed officials released such projections, in March, they indicated the typical member foresaw roughly three cuts to interest rates in 2024. That projection will almost certainly fall this time around. Traders on Wall Street are largely betting on just one or two cuts to rates in 2024, according to data from CME Group.

In other dealings, U.S. benchmark crude oil was flat at $77.74 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, the international standard, also was unchanged, at $81.63 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar rose to 157.26 Japanese yen from 157.04 yen. The euro fell to $1.0750 from $1.0766.

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