Yuri Kageyama

TOKYO (AP) – Global shares were mixed yesterday after a day of listless trading on Wall Street, as investors awaited signs on global interest rates.

France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.3 per cent to 5,569.68 in early trading, while Germany’s DAX fell 0.3 per cent to 12,193.09. Britain’s FTSE 100 inched down 0.1 per cent to 7,228.18. United States (US) shares were set to drift lower with Dow futures down 0.3 per cent at 26,756. S&P 500 futures were also down 0.3 per cent at 2,968.70.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added nearly 0.4 per cent to finish at 21,392.10. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.5 per cent to 6,614.10, while South Korea’s Kospi edged up 0.6 per cent to 2,032.08. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was virtually unchanged, moving down less than 0.1 per cent to 26,657.04, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.1 per cent to 3,021.20.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 ended virtually flat as losses in technology and health care stocks outweighed gains in financials and other sectors. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks, which has lagged the S&P 500 this year, outpaced the rest of the market.

Investors are taking a shine to smaller company stocks in hopes that they’ll be better shielded from the fallout of the costly trade war between the US and China than large multinationals.

The broader market has bounced back the past two weeks following volatility brought on by the trade war as Washington and Beijing imposed new tariffs on more of each other’s goods. Investors worry the escalation of tariffs may be dampening global economic growth and threatening to nudge the US into a recession.

Traders are hoping for a deal between the world’s two largest economies and were encouraged last week by news that talks will resume in October.

A mixed bag of economic data has also kept Wall Street focussed on central banks and whether they will continue taking measures to shore up economic growth. On Friday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank doesn’t expect a recession and will take necessary actions to maintain growth.

Economists expect the Fed to cut interest rates when it meets next week. Separately, the European Central Bank is expected to unveil new monetary stimulus measures tomorrow to help shore up the region’s economy.

“Markets look to be adrift ahead of the slew of events this week including the likes of the European Central Bank where further support for the markets is expected,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

“As far as the risk sentiment is concerned, the improvement carries forth from the previous week in anticipation of the various central bank meetings.”

ENERGY:

Benchmark crude oil rose three cents to USD57.88 a barrel. It rose USD1.33 to USD57.85 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, gained two cents to USD62.61 a barrel.

CURRENCIES:

The dollar rose to JPY107.27 from JPY106.96 on Monday. The euro strengthened to USD1.1043 from USD1.1037.