Global shares were mixed Tuesday after a day of listless trading on Wall Street, as investors awaited signs on global interest rates.
France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.3% to 5,569.68 in early trading, while Germany’s DAX fell 0.3% to 12,193.09. Britain’s FTSE 100 inched down 0.1% to 7,228.18. U.S. shares were set to drift lower with Dow futures down 0.3% at 26,756. S&P 500 futures were also down 0.3% at 2,968.70.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added nearly 0.4% to finish at 21,392.10. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.5% to 6,614.10, while South Korea’s Kospi edged up 0.6% to 2,032.08. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was virtually unchanged, moving down less than 0.1% to 26,657.04, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.1% 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 U.S. 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 United States 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 focused 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 on Thursday 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.”
Benchmark crude oil rose 3 cents to $57.88 a barrel. It rose $1.33 to $57.85 a barrel Monday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, gained 2 cents to $62.61 a barrel.
The dollar rose to 107.27 yen from 106.96 yen on Monday. The euro strengthened to $1.1043 from $1.1037.