World shares mixed as markets mull Fed, China trade talks

World shares mixed as markets mull Fed, China trade talks
The Associated Press

HONG KONG (AP) — World stock markets were mixed on Thursday as investors analyzed the Fed’s decision to keep interest rates unchanged and kept an eye out for developments from China-U.S. trade talks in Beijing.

KEEPING SCORE: European shares slipped in early trading. France’s CAC 40 lost 0.3 percent to 5,155.00 and Germany’s DAX fell 0.2 percent to 12,772.48. Britain’s FTSE 100 dipped 0.1 percent to 7,539.62. Wall Street was poised to open higher. Dow futures added 0.2 percent to 23,871.00 and broader S&P 500 futures advanced 0.3 percent to 2,633.60.

ASIAN SCORECARD: Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng index dropped 1.2 percent to close at 30,313.37 and South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.7 percent to end at 2,487.25. The Shanghai Composite index rose 0.6 percent to 3,100.86 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.8 percent to 6,098.30. Taiwan shares fell and Southeast Asian indexes were mostly lower. Japan’s markets were closed for a holiday.

TRADE TRIP: A U.S. delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrived in Beijing on Thursday for two days of talks with senior Chinese leaders in an effort to calm worsening friction over the trade imbalance between the world’s two biggest economies. Prospects for a breakthrough looked uncertain given the intensifying rivalry over technology that underlies the dispute.

XIAOMI IPO: Beijing-based Xiaomi, the world’s No. 4 smartphone maker by shipment volume, filed documents Thursday with Hong Kong’s stock exchange operator for an initial public offering that could be the world’s biggest share sale in years. Listing documents provided no financial details. But the newspaper South China Morning Post cited unnamed banking sources saying Xiaomi plans to raise up to $10 billion in a deal that would value the company at $100 billion.

FED STANDS PAT: In leaving rates unchanged, as investors and analysts had expected, the Fed said it expects to continue gradually raising them. The U.S. central bank also said inflation is approaching its 2 percent target after years of remaining undesirably low, though policymakers didn’t suggest they’re overly concerned that inflation will overshoot that.

QUICK TAKE: “With much of the good news in the equity world currently factored in, investors are left mulling over the paradoxical landscape of stellar earnings but higher interest rates and the threat of trade war,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asian trading at OANDA. “This struggle is unlikely to end anytime soon.”

ENERGY: Oil futures edged higher. Benchmark U.S. crude added 9 cents to $68.03 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped 1 percent to settle at $67.93 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 3 cents to $73.41 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 109.65 yen from 109.86 yen in late trading Wednesday. The euro rose to $1.1999 from $1.1952.

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