Historical Stock Chart
3 Months : From Dec 2019 to Mar 2020
By Steven Russolillo and Avantika Chilkoti
Global stocks ticked up on Wednesday as investors focused on major U.S. and European companies' results while awaiting fresh insights on the economy from the Federal Reserve.
Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.1%, and the Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.4%. In Hong Kong, where markets opened for trading for the first time since the Lunar New Year holidays began, the benchmark Hang Seng Index closed down 2.8% as investors weighed the impact of the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak in China.
Later in the day, U.S. companies including McDonald's, Boeing, Mastercard, Microsoft, Facebook and Tesla are scheduled to report earnings for the latest quarter.
And while the Fed is widely expected to hold interest rates stable when it concludes its latest round of policy meetings this evening, investors are likely to be watching for fresh cues on how the U.S. central bank controls short-term rates. Policy makers will be looking to unwind a program that began last year when the Fed flooded markets with cash to avoid fresh spikes in overnight lending rates. Chairman Jerome Powell's comments at a press briefing may also provide hints of what lies ahead for the world's largest economy.
In Europe, corporate earnings triggered some of the most significant moves in equities. Banco Santander rose 3.5% after the Spanish bank's fourth-quarter profit beat expectations and its core capital ratio climbed. Royal KPN lost over 7% in Amsterdam after the Dutch telecommunications company warned that its consumer segment is under pressure from competitors.
In Asia, where markets have been roiled by the rapid spread of the coronavirus originating in central China, the death toll climbed to at least 132 and confirmed infections rose to about 6,000 people. Trading in mainland China is scheduled to resume next week after authorities decided to delay the reopening of exchanges.
The Hong Kong government unveiled measures on Tuesday to limit travel to and from mainland China to try to contain the outbreak, though it stopped short of completely shutting the border. So far, there have been eight confirmed cases of coronavirus in Hong Kong.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 29, 2020 05:40 ET (10:40 GMT)
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